Caponata Sicilian Style Sweet n Sour Sauce with Roasted Eggplant

February 22, 2022

Caponata Sicilian Style Sweet n Sour Sauce with Roasted Eggplant

This traditional Sicilian dish is something between a sauce and a relish. Perfect as a bruschetta topping, for dipping into or with pasta as a vegan main course. This sweet and sour sauce takes cues from lots of different cuisine influences but most importantly balances sour, sweet and salty flavours. Our Pepo's version involves roasting the eggplant in pumpkin seed oil, Yum!

This will easily serve 10 dinner guests as an appetizer with leftovers. Halve the recipe if you only want enough to serve 6ppl.

This recipe is:

  • Rich in healthy fats 
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan option 

You'll need:

  • 2 large eggplants cut into ~2cm squares
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil (for roasting eggplant)
  • Sunflower Oil
  • 2x brown onions diced
  • 1x red capsicum & 1x yellow capsicum cored and diced
  • 4x celery stalks finely sliced
  • 2x tins of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 TBSP capers roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of pitted green olives roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of raisins 
  • 1TBSP honey (or maple syrup for vegan option)
  • 1/2 cup of Pepo's apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/4 cup of mixed chopped herbs: fresh mint, parsley & or basil


  1. Season the eggplant cubes well with salt and set aside in a colander to drain for 20 mins if you have time. This will allow the eggplant to sweat out its bitterness and give a sweeter result.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200C then work on chopping & preparing the other ingredients
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and generously drizzle with pumpkin seed oil. Roast in the oven for ~30mins or until browned and caramelized.
  4. In a large skillet or saucepan heat 2TBSP of Sunflower oil over medium heat. Add Onions and sauté for a few minutes. Then add capsicums and celery. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 7mins or until softened
  5. Add all remaining ingredients to the pan and stir to combine. reduce to medium-low heat for 10mins
  6. By this stage the eggplant should be ready to remove from the oven. Add to other sauce ingredients in the pan and cook for another 3mins until all combined in a chunky relish consistency.
  7. Serve in small single dishes with toasted sourdough/ciabatta for each person.

There will be plenty of leftovers that can be stored in the fridge for a few days (great as a quick pasta sauce) Or frozen into portions to use within a few months.

Excellent with a glass of the white wine you used in the recipe.

Buon Appetito! 

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