Eggplant Caponata with Toasted Almonds and Dark Cocoa Powder

November 20, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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Sicilian eggplant caponata on a culinary tour of Sicily.Whether you want to serve a vegetarian entree, or a tasty side packed with vegetables, try this eggplant caponata dish from Sicily. Considered both a stew as well as a relish — depending on how its served, and what it’s served with — this meal is considered an agrodolce, otherwise known as a sweet and sour sauce. This particular recipe hails from the kitchen of Chef Vincenzo of our Palermo cooking class.

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The locals hanging out in SIcilyEggplant Caponata


Serves 8 people.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Cook method: Sauté

  • 4 large eggplants
  • 2 large onions
  • 100 gr. (3 1/2 oz) sliced celery stalk. Use the inside part of the celery, including the leaves.
  • 50 gr. (1 3/4 oz) green olives (pitted and coarsely chopped)
  • 3 or 4 chopped and peeled tomatoes
  • 50 gr. (1 3/4 oz) capers (well rinsed)
  • 40 gr. (about 1 1/4 oz) sugar
  • 40 gr. (about 1 1/4 oz) white wine vinegar
  • Chopped tasted almonds for decoration
  • Dark cocoa powder for decoration
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Try another Sicilian recipe featuring eggplant.


1. Cut the eggplants into 2 cm cubes. Salt well and set aside for 15 minutes.

2. After 15 minutes, rinse the eggplant under cold running water, drain, and fry in olive oil until golden brown.

3. Place the fried eggplants in a casserole dish.

4. Thinly slice the onions and sweat them (in a large, heavy skillet) in olive oil until soft. Add salt and pepper.

5. Add celery and continue sweating until semi-soft. Add more salt and pepper.

Visiting Palermo's sites on a cooking vacation in Sicily6. On high heat, add the chopped and peeled tomatoes, and stir well.

7. Add the sugar and let caramelize, then add the olives and capers.

8. Add the mixture to the eggplant in the casserole. Garnish with the cocoa and almonds and serve with bread.

Pair the caponata with a wonderful Sicilian wine and buon appetito

By Peg Kern

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