This is a typical dish in which the Spanish tradition unites with the Sicilian fondness for anything that is elaborate and sumptuous. The modern caponata is a summer dish made with vegetables, but it was originally made with fish and seafood. This recipe was believed to have been served in the Cauponae, or antique taverns, located at the seaports.


  • 4 eggplants
  • 4 red and yellow peppers
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 onion
  • 100 g green olives
  • 1 handful of capers
  • 50 g raisins
  • basil
  • black pepper or chilli
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil


Cut the unpeeled eggplant into small cubes and fry in a saucepan with plenty of extra virgin olive oil. Drain and set aside. In the same oil fry the peppers. In the meantime boil the celery cut into pieces in salted water and add a handful of capers into a small amount of warm water. Sauté the onion until soft then add the celery cut into small cubes, the handful of capers, a bit of pine nuts and the previously fried vegetables. Stir in the vinegar and sugar, and simmer the entire mixture for a few minutes over a medium flame. Serve cold. One version of this recipe is prepared with potatoes cut into small cubes that are fried on their own, like the peppers and the eggplants, then mixed together and dressed with the other vegetables.