Sicilian eggplant relish

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40 min


6 cups (1.5 L)

* PLUS Cooking time: 25 minutes, Baking Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 large eggplants
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 796-mL can diced plum tomatoes , drained
  • 3 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp currants
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil


  • Peel eggplant only if skin has a bitter taste. Cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes. Toss with salt, then let juices drain in a colander over sink.
  • Meanwhile, diagonally slice celery into 1/2-inch (1-cm) pieces. Thinly slice onions. Pit and coarsely chop olives. Chop mint and measure out remaining ingredients.
  • Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Rinse eggplant under cold running water. Using your hands, squeeze out water. Place on a baking sheet with sides and toss with 3 tablespoons (45 mL) olive oil. Spread out in a single layer. Bake in centre of 400F (200C) oven, stirring once or twice, until starting to brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large deep frying pan set over medium heat. Add celery, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onions have softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in olives, tomatoes, capers, pine nuts, currants, sugar and vinegar. When bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered and stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in eggplant and mint. Cook 5 minutes. When ready to serve, chop basil and sprinkle over top. For best flavour, serve at room temperature. Covered and refrigerated, relish will keep well for several days.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 62,
  • Protein
  • 0.9 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 6 g,
  • Fat
  • 4.2 g,
  • Fibre
  • 1.3 g,
  • Sodium
  • 216 mg.

Spooned into crispy baked wonton shells, tiny purchased pastry shells or over oven-warmed Brie, this caponata relish from Kathleen Sloan’s new Rustic Italian Cooking (Robert Rose) is packed with flavour.