Eggplant Caponata is a Sicilian relish that’s similar in some ways to French Ratatouille, but it’s tangier and a little less chunky. It’s also naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, paleo, and allergy-friendly, and quite versatile.
How to Serve Plant-Based Eggplant Caponata
You can enjoy Eggplant Caponata as an appetizer with baguette or crackers, or use it as a main dish feature. It is traditionally served with fish dishes, as an accompaniment. But it also pairs well with chicken and roasted potatoes. Another idea is to serve it over pasta or rice, and keep it plant-based by adding chickpeas.
Or you can bake this caponata atop flatbread or a pizza crust. I recommend sprinkling on some baby spinach leaves just before you bake it!
We originally shared this recipe way back in 2006, but I’ve given the recipe and post a big update. Now it’s easier to find and enjoy today!
Special Diet Notes: Eggplant Caponata
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, paleo, and vegetarian.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, ¼ inch dice
- 1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes partially drained.
- ¼ cup sliced pitted olives, green or black
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons capers, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped or 2 teaspoons dried basil
- Dash sugar
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Preheat a large skillet or cast iron pan over high heat.
- Carefully drizzle in the oil and immediately add the celery, onion, and garlic. Then add the eggplant. Sauté for about 3 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Reduce the heat to medium, and stir in the tomatoes, olives, vinegar, tomato paste, capers, basil, and sugar.
- Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is very tender. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Cool and serve at room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.