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Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for caponata.

By Emma Knowles, Lisa Featherby & Alice Storey
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus soaking, cooling
  • Serves 4
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A Sicilian specialty, caponata makes good use of two of summer’s finest ingredients: eggplant and tomatoes. It makes a great snack served with chunks of bread for scooping, and is a good partner for grilled lamb, or robust fish such as tuna or swordfish.


  • 125 ml olive oil (½ cup)
  • 2 eggplant (about 800gm), diced
  • 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 very ripe vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 150 gm large green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 50 gm salted baby capers, rinsed and drained (¼ cup)
  • 2 tbsp currants, soaked in 2 tbsp red wine vinegar for 15 minutes
  • 20 gm pine nuts, toasted
  • To serve: basil and extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1
    Heat 100ml oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add eggplant in batches and stir occasionally until golden all over (6-7 minutes), then transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  • 2
    Add remaining oil to pan, add onion, celery and garlic and stir occasionally until very tender (8-10 minutes). Add tomato, sugar and 250ml water and simmer until reduced by half (3-4 minutes). Return eggplant to pan and simmer until tender and mixture is reduced to a thick sauce. Remove from heat and stir in olives, capers and currants and vinegar. Season to taste and cool to room temperature. Serve scattered with pine nuts and basil, and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.


This recipe is from the March 2013 issue of .

  • undefined: Emma Knowles, Lisa Featherby & Alice Storey