Aubergine caponata

Gary Rhodes' combines juicy aubergines with salty olives and piquant capers in this Sicillian speciality
By Gary Rhodes
Aubergine caponata
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • olive oil, for frying
  • 2 large aubergines, peeled and cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 3 stalks celery, strings removed, finely sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 200 g pitted green olives, each cut into 3 pieces
  • 100 g capers, rinsed and drained
  • 200 ml tomato passata
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar
  • chopped parsley, to garnish
  • hard-boiled eggs, to serve

Tips and Suggestions

Caponata can be made 24 hours in advance, which allows the flavours to develop and become more intense, however it should always be served at room temperature.


1. Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a large deep frying pan. Fry the diced aubergines, one layer at a time, until golden brown, turning often. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper. Season lightly with salt.

2. Meanwhile, in a pan of boiling salted water, blanch the celery for 1 minute, then drain and refresh under cold running water. Pat dry.

3. In a large frying pan, sauté the celery and onion in 6 tablespoons olive oil until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add the olives, capers, passata, sugar and vinegar. Season with freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt.

4. Gently stir in the fried aubergine, simmering for 2-3 minutes before spooning into a large bowl to cool.

5. Spoon the caponata into a serving bowl, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with the eggs.

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