Caponata on Toasted Bread

August 18, 2023

While many people consider this part of an ‘aperativo,’ for me a good caponata is everything from the starter to dessert. Here’s my favorite way to make it, sort of freewheeling so each time you make it, it’s slightly different and fresh.

Makes 3-4 servings

Ingredient List:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, large dice
  • 1 red or yellow onion, large dice
  • 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, smashed, minced
  • Sea salt
  • 1 small eggplant, large dice; do not peel
  • 1 1/2 cups canned, diced tomatoes, partially drained
  • 10-12 green or black pitted olives, sliced
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt-cured capers, rinsed very well, soaked for 15 minutes, drained
  • Fresh basil, leaves torn into small pieces

Step By Step Instructions:

Place a generous amount of oil in a deep skillet with celery, onion and garlic, over medium heat. When the vegetables begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and sauté until onions are soft, but not browning. Stir in eggplant and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring until the eggplant is lightly browned.

Reduce the heat to low-ish, and stir in the tomatoes, olives, vinegar, tomato paste, and capers. Do not add more salt (the capers are salty, even with rinsing and soaking). Cover and simmer until the eggplant is quite tender, almost creamy. Season lightly with salt, if needed. Stir in fresh basil. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve mounded on crispy toasted whole grain bread.