Summer is around the corner so we are trying to eat as much veggies but with a recipe that still has lots of flavor and what better recipe to make than fresh Caponata.

Caponata consists of roasted eggplant, sautéed bell peppers, onions and celery combined with tomatoes, olives, capers, red wine vinegar and honey to create an enticing zesty dish. 

This classic dish, which originated in Sicily, Italy has been around since the 18th century and has typically been seen served alongside fish, but can make an amazing appetizer paired with crostini (crusty bread). 

The veggie filled recipe is usually served as a main course, and there are many versions that incorporate different kinds of seafood like octopus, lobster, swordfish, shrimp and more! 

The dish can be adjusted according to your taste depending on the amount of sweet to spicy ingredients you decide to use, which makes it extremely versatile. 

If you’d like to make this recipe for yourself, follow the steps below! 

Recipe

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Place chopped eggplant in a baking dish and sprinkle lightly with salt and olive oil.
  2. Once your oven is ready, place the eggplant inside and roast for about 30-35 minutes or until a deep golden color, mixing halfway through.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add your onions, celery and red bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the onion is golden and tender, about 10-12 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add in the crushed tomatoes and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the olives, raisins, vinegar, capers, red pepper flakes and honey and mix well. Lower your heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in the roasted eggplant and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the fresh mint, saving some for garnish, and mix thoroughly. Remove pan from the heat.
  7. Adjust seasonings to your taste (I added extra red pepper flakes for a nice kick).
  8. Let cool to room temperature for about an hour and serve alongside crostini, optional.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/4 cup raisins, red or golden
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained
  • 1 tbsp honey or sugar (adjust to taste)
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Crostini, for serving (optional)

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