Roasted Eggplant Caponata

If you have the time, make the caponata at least a day ahead; it's one of those dishes that improves with time. Eat it as they do in Sicily: spooned over bread or focaccia, alongside roast lamb or chicken, paired with a wedge of pecorino…in short, with almost anything! Slideshow:  More Eggplant Recipes 

Roasted Eggplant Caponata
Photo: © Guy Ambrosino
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
Yield:
6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 bunch celery hearts, sliced

  • 1 red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

  • 1 cup good-quality tomato sauce

  • 1 cup green olives, pitted and torn into thirds

  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained

  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Toss the eggplant with 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the eggplant on a baking sheet in 1 layer and roast until browned and tender, flipping halfway through, about 25 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, cook the celery in a small pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water until cooled. Drain well, and set aside.

  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until just golden, about 5 minutes. Add the olives, capers, reserved celery, tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar and salt to taste. Gently stir in the eggplant, being careful not to break up the pieces. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl or platter and cool.

  4. Garnish the caponata with the chopped parsley, and serve cold or at room temperature.

Make Ahead

The caponata can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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