Caponatina -- Eggplant and Olive Appetizer




2 lg. eggplants, diced
2 lg. onions, sliced thin
6 tbsp. capers
1 cup wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. oregano
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup stuffed green olives, sliced
2 tbsp. pine nuts (Pignoli)
4 tbsp. sugar
2 cups tomato puree
1/4 tsp. basil


DO NOT PEEL THE EGGPLANT!! Dice it, into about 1/2-inch cubes. Spread cubes in a shallow baking pan and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for about an hour. Pat dry.

Brown the eggplant cubes in olive oil. Remove from the pan and allow to drain. In the same pan, saute onions, and celery until the celery is tender by firm. Remove from the heat and add capers, pignoli, oregano, basil, olives and enough of the tomato puree to mix in well and give the dish a red color, and add some liquidity to the mixgture. Heat wine vinegar in sauce pan. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar. Add to misture in pan and stir to incorporate all ingredients fullyu,. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a ceramic crock. Allow to cool. Serve at room temperature or cold. (Note: The Caponatina will stay in the refrigerator for weeks.)

Author's Comments

As a child I remember my mother and aunts all with bushels of "Melanzanie" (Eggplants) cooking all day to produce gallons of this ambrosia! It was great for a school lunch or after school snack or anytime!

Taken from my cookbook, "Old Country Italian Cookbook", by Donald JP La Marca.

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