Skip to content

The Veggie-Packed Mediterranean Condiment You Should Be Making To Go With Anything

Eliza Sullivan
Author:
February 2, 2021
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
The Veggie-Packed Mediterranean Condiment You Should Be Making To Go With Anything
Image by Matthew Benson / Contributor
February 2, 2021
Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

Caponata is a traditional Sicilian dish that's primarily made of eggplant—sort of an Italian version of French ratatouille. Served as a side dish in some cases or as a sort of condiment in others, it is evocative of quintessential Mediterranean cooking. The highlights are, of course, the fresh vegetables, but there's also olive oil, garlic, balsamic, olives, and capers.

This version of caponata comes from the kitchen of Ellen Ecker Ogden, who co-founded The Cook's Garden seed catalog, authored six books on kitchen garden design, and attended cooking school in Italy and Ireland. The recipe is featured in her new book The New Heirloom Garden. "A condiment made with eggplant and other summer vegetables, this recipe makes a large portion," she explains, "any extra can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days."

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Eggplant Caponata

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 2 red onions, preferably Red Torpedo, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 eggplant, preferably Black Beauty, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 1 zucchini, preferably Costata Romanesco, cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 large fennel bulb, preferably Florence, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, preferably Marconi Red, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped pitted oil-cured black olives
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 fresh oregano sprig, leaves finely chopped
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a large roasting pan and add the onions, eggplant, zucchini, fennel, celery, and bell pepper. Mix the ½ cup oil and the garlic in a measuring cup and drizzle it over the vegetables; sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are barely tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Whisk the vinegar, olives, tomato paste, capers, and oregano in a large bowl to dissolve the tomato paste. Pour this over the vegetables in the roasting pan and gently stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. Continue to roast, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are soft and tender, about 30 minutes more.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature in the pan. Taste and season generously with more salt and pepper. Stir before serving as a side dish or on toasted crusty bread as an appetizer.
Recipe courtesy of The New Heirloom Garden. Copyright © 2021 by Ellen Ecker Ogden. Photography copyright © 2021 by Matthew Benson. Published by Rodale Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
Eliza Sullivan
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer

Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.