Kidspot Kitchen

Kidspot Kitchen

Classic caponata recipe

This Sicilian staple is great served with warm flat bread and some mozzarella as an appetiser, beautiful next to all kinds of meat such as grilled lamb chops or marinated chicken and is just so easy.



  • 20ml (4 tbsp) olive oil
  • 2 eggplants, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 4 sticks celery, cut into small pieces
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tin (400g) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp finely grated dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup mixed black and green olives
  • 2 tbsp capers


Heat 10ml (2 tsp) olive oil in a large frying pan before adding half of the eggplant cubes, stirring regularly for 5 minutes until softened. Transfer the cooked eggplant to a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat the process with the remaining eggplant and sprinkle with sea salt.

Add remaining olive oil and cook the celery for 5 minutes. Once softened, transfer to the eggplant bowl then cook the red onion for 5 minutes, or until translucent.

Pour the tomatoes, dark chocolate and half a cup of boiling water into the frypan, and bring to a gentle simmer and leave to cook, partially covered, for 25 minutes.

Serve at room temperature on a lovely big platter, scattered with the olives and capers.


  • Caponata improves with time and, I think, tastes best at room temperature so you can throw it together in the morning and then forget about it until lunchtime.
  • When removed from simmer, the eggplant should be soft and collapsing.
  • This recipe was created by Sophie Hansen for Kidspot, New Zealand's best recipe finder.  You can follow Sophie on Local is LovelyFacebookTwitter or Pinterest.