Try this tasty roasted eggplant caponata recipe for your next holiday gathering, picnic, or party. It's a great appetizer, party dip, or relish and is best made ahead so the flavors have time to meld giving you extra time for other prep on the day of the event.
I remember being served this delicious caponata appetizer at Michael Anthony's restaurant in Hilton Head Island. Ever since then I've been wanting to make something similar. Like many recipes, it can be adapted to suit your taste. I didn't include capers but I did include toasted pine nuts.
How to Make Roasted Eggplant Caponata
Eggplant is often fried for this recipe but I decided to roast it instead. I love the taste of roasted vegetables. So this recipe starts with eggplant, plum tomatoes, and garlic cloves roasted in the oven with salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
You only need to roast the vegetables for about 40 minutes in the oven.
Then when you combine it with the other sauteed ingredients on the stove you can mash them up a little with a spoon.
How to Serve Caponata
- Make sure the caponata comes to room temperature before serving. You can serve it cold but I think it tastes better on the warm side.
- Slice up a baguette or these days you can easily find toasted bread or crostini already made at the store. Cracker would also work in a pinch.
- I'm serving it as a dip but you can also use it as a condiment on sandwiches or as a relish for grilled fish.
- It also tastes great over pasta, rice, or other grains.
How Long Does it Last?
This dish should last for several days in the refrigerator. Maybe up to 1 week. Hopefully you'll eat it all up before then.
One of the best things about this one is that you really need to make it ahead so that all the flavors meld together. So you make it the day before leaving you extra time to do all the other things you need to do to get ready for the party. And yes, that also means that it tastes even better leftover.
Roasted Eggplant Caponata Recipe
- 2 eggplants peeled and cubed
- 5 plum tomatoes sliced and roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 onion about 1 cup diced
- 3 ribs of celery finely diced
- 1/3 cup pitted green olives finely chopped about 8
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
- Place the eggplant, tomatoes, and garlic on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and add a sprinkle of salt all over.
- Roast in a 400-degree oven for40 minutes.
- Saute onion and celery with olive oil in a large pan until softened about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the roasted eggplant, tomatoes, and garlic to the onions and celery pan. Continue to cook using a spoon to mash the eggplant into the other ingredients.
- Next add vinegar, honey, olives, and red pepper flakes. Stir well and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes.
- Remove from stove and add basil and roasted pine nuts.
- Place the caponata into a bowl and cover and refrigerate for 2 or more hours to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Serve with bread rounds or crackers.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts have been made to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.