15 May 2024


This Sicilian-inspired vegetable dish captures summer in a pan. Aubergines, tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions are stewed slowly in plenty of olive oil. The addition of salty capers and olives balances the sweet vegetables while seasonal summer herbs add freshness. The dish is simply delicious served with grilled crusty bread as a light lunch.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes


  • 3 aubergines, cut into large chunks
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 ripe beef tomatoes cut in chunks (or 6 medium sized tomatoes)
  • 1tbsp tomato puree (optional)
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • Handful of black olives
  • 1-2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • Handful of chopped fresh herbs e.g. basil, oregano, flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted


  1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add the aubergine and season with a good pinch of salt. Toss the aubergine around in the oil and cook on a high heat for about 5-8 minutes until golden brown. You may need to do this in two batches.
  2. Add the remaining oil, onion and garlic and continue cooking on a low to medium heat, stirring frequently until the onions are soft.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, peppers, capers and olives and cook on a low heat for 25 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  5. Season with salt and stir gently.
  6. Sprinkle with herbs and pine nuts and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  7. Serve warm with crusty bread or as a side dish with grilled meat or fish.



  • Add a tbsp of tomato puree to the recipe if the tomatoes are lacking in flavour.
  • Caponata can be made in advance and gently re-heated when required. Any leftovers make a great vegetarian sandwich filling.