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Home > Restaurants > Recipes > Eggplant Caponata

Eggplant Caponata

Provided by: Chef Mario Batali
Served at: OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria

  • Type of Dish: Condiments/Sauces, Sides
  • Servings: 8
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Special Requests: Healthy, Vegetarian/Vegan
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review

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1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons pine nuts
3 tablespoons dried currants
1⁄2–1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, to taste
2 medium eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 1⁄4 pounds each)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
3⁄4 cup basic tomato sauce
1⁄4 cup orange juice
Zest of 3 oranges
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oil in a 12-to-14-inch sauté pan.

Add the onion, garlic, pine nuts, currants, and red-pepper flakes, and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the eggplant, sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder, and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring often. Add the thyme, tomato sauce, orange juice, and orange zest, and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool and serve at room temperature. Best made one day ahead, to let the flavors develop. Will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

(Published 2003)

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