Classic caponata

Classic caponata



  • 20ml (4 tbsp) olive oil
  • 2 eggplants, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 4 sticks celery, cut into small pieces
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tin (400g) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp finely grated dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup mixed black and green olives
  • 2 tbsp capers


Heat 10ml (2 tsp) olive oil in a large frying pan before adding half of the eggplant cubes, stirring regularly for 5 minutes until softened. Transfer the cooked eggplant to a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat the process with the remaining eggplant and sprinkle with sea salt.

Add remaining olive oil and cook the celery for 5 minutes. Once softened, transfer to the eggplant bowl then cook the red onion for 5 minutes, or until translucent.

Pour the tomatoes, dark chocolate and half a cup of boiling water into the frypan, and bring to a gentle simmer and leave to cook, partially covered, for 25 minutes.

Serve at room temperature on a lovely big platter, scattered with the olives and capers.

Serving Suggestions


  • Caponata improves with time and, I think, tastes best at room temperature so you can throw it together in the morning and then forget about it until lunchtime.
  • When removed from simmer, the eggplant should be soft and collapsing.
  • This recipe was created by Sophie Hansen for Kidspot, New Zealand's best recipe finder.  You can follow Sophie on Local is LovelyFacebookTwitter or Pinterest.

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