Caponata (Sweet and Sour Eggplant) Recipe

Eggplant Parmesan is a favorite dish for many, but if that’s your only experience with eggplant, you’re missing out!

This nightshade veggie, easily recognized by its shape and shiny purple skin, has a rich, hearty texture that makes it a great substitute for meat. Whether roasted, baked, or sautéed, eggplant can be the perfect complement to any number of recipes – from ratatouille to soups, stews, and curries. And with nutrients like potassium, fiber, and vitamins A and C, eggplant supports heart health and can help prevent certain diseases.

Caponata (Sweet and Sour Eggplant)

Recipe by Chef Patrick Halloran
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    Owner and executive chef of Hummingbird Pastaria shares his recipe for Caponata or sweet and sour eggplant.


    • 2 lbs.

      eggplant, peeled and diced

    • 3 oz.

      extra-virgin olive oil

    • 1

      small onion, diced

    • 2 oz.

      kalamata olives, cut in half

    • 2 oz.


    • 1 oz.

      garlic, chopped

    • 1

      small fennel bulb, julienned and blanched in salt water

    • 2

      ribs celery, chopped and blanched in salt water

    • 2 cups

      roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped

    • 2 oz.

      golden raisins, plumped in Marsala wine

    • 3 oz.

      white wine

    • 3 oz.

      sherry vinegar

    • 3 oz.


    • Salt, to taste


    • After peeling and dicing the eggplant, salt the pieces and press in a colander for 1 hour.

    • Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add oil. Add eggplant and caramelize for 5 minutes. Return the eggplant to the colander and allow to drain.

    • Deglaze the pan using onions, olives, and capers. Cook until onions are soft.

    • Add garlic, fennel, celery, tomatoes, raisins, white wine, and eggplant to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes until sauce begins to thicken.

    • Add vinegar and honey. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

    • Adjust to taste with more salt, vinegar, or honey. Enjoy hot or cold.

      Caponata (Sweet and Sour Eggplant) from Hummingbird Pastaria
      Patrick Holloran

      Patrick Halloran, Owner & Executive Chef at Hummingbird Pastaria

      Did You Know?

      While it’s called “eggplant” in the United States and Canada, residents of the United Kingdom refer to eggplant by its French name: aubergine.

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