Sicilian eggplant relish

Prep 40 min
Plus Cooking time: 25 minutes, Baking Time: 20 minutes
Makes 6 cups (1.5 L)

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large eggplants
2 tbsp
4 stalks
medium onions
1/2 cup
green olives
1/2 cup
black olives
1/2 cup
chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup
garlic cloves, minced
796-mL can
diced plum tomatoes, drained
3 tbsp
2 tbsp
toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp
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.

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.


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