Caponata (Marinated Eggplant Compost)

NOTE:  Caponata is a Sicilan dish consisting mainly of eggplant and other vegetables.  A compote that can be used as an appetizer, or to accompany meat or fish entrées.  If you love eggplant, you will love this.


  • 1 large eggplant, unpeeled
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 medium onion, small quartered, about 1 cup
  • 2/3 cup celery with leaves, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small zucchini, cubed, about 1 cup
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil ,divided
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1/4 cup stuffed olives with pimento, halved
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves,
  •    or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
Cuisine: Italian/Sicilian
Yield: Makes 4 cups
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  1.  Cut end off eggplant, and slice into 1/2-inch circles.  Soak eggplant in cool salted water with heavy bowl over top to keep eggplant submerged for about 2- minutes.
  2.   Prepare onion, celery, red bell pepper, zucchini and garlic.  Place in a large saucepan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add 1/4  cup olive oil and sauté together for 10 minutes.  Vegetables will appear translucent.
  3. Rinse and drain the eggplant and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.  In separate saucepan, add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and sauté the eggplant for 10 minutes.  Combine eggplant and the vegetables in the largest saucepan.  Add the tomatoes, olives, raisins, and basil.  Simmer together for 15 minutes.
  4.   In small saucepan, place the vinegar, sugar and capers.   Cook together about 1 minute, or until mixture becomes syrupy.  Add to the eggplant mixture and cook for another 5 minutes.  Makes 4 cups.