Summer is ending (these are the words of a famous Italian “trash” song… it’s amazing how many trash songs I know), but my idea is to enjoy this summer as long as it lasts: today, according to the calendar, is the first day of autumn, the air is fresher already, but I still crave nice outdoor walks and bike rides, picnics (oh mine, I really love picnics) and fresh and colourful dishes (but, don’t worry, I already have a pumpkin in the fridge ready for soups, and it won’t be my first soup of the season).

Today is the first day of autumn, but I want to celebrate summer with a dish that constantly (and pleasantly) marks my summers: the eggplant caponata. This is my grandfather’s recipe (blood ties never meant much to me, so he’s not my grandfather, but this grandfather not grandfather is more of a grandfather than my real grandfather .. it looks like a tongue twister, but I understood myself – I’ll make a test to see who understood this strange phrase) and now for me it’s THE recipe, the only one I have ever tasted that make me wanna steal the bowl and hide it under my covers, so I can eat caponata until winter arrives.

Eggplant caponata


Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 800 g of eggplant, diced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • pepper
  • 1 celery
  • 1 handful of pitted green olives
  • 20-30 g of pine nuts (but you can use more or less)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, desalted
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • about 75-100 ml of white vinegar (but you can use more)
  • salt
  • fresh basil
  1. Drain eggplant cubes with salt, rinse well, dry them and fry them in extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Braise onion in extra virgin olive oil and add the tomatoes, cut into pieces, tomato paste and season with pepper.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes, then add chopped celery, olives, pine nuts, capers and sugar dissolved in vinegar.
  4. Cook for 20 minutes, then add the eggplant (previously fried) and season with salt.
  5. Cook for 5 more minutes, to blend the flavors together.
  6. Let it cool down and serve cold, garnished with fresh basil.

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