Spice Road Spices
Artisan Spice Merchants

The Art of Flavour


Sicilian Eggplant and Green Olive Agro e Dolce Caponata, - Salt Free - Salt Reduced

A classic Sicilian Eggplant Caponata with a difference


  • 2 x Eggplant cut into 2cm cubes

  • 2 x small red peppers, cut into strips. See note (2)

  • 1 x Cup pitted green olives, rinsed - best quality important. See note (1)

  • 3 x Medium celery stalks, centre white section, diced into 2cm pieces

  • Olive oil

  • 1 x Medium onion, sliced and 3 x garlic cloves, diced

  • 2 x Tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 x Tin Italian diced tomatoes or 4 x whole tomatoes, peeled and deseeded

  • 2 x Teaspoons cumin, ground

  • 1 x Teaspoon turmeric

  • 2 x Teaspoons coriander, ground

  • 1/2 x Cup slivered almonds and 1 x cup of raisins

  • 2 x Tablespoons capers, desalted and rinsed

  • 2 x Tablespoons red wine vinegar - see note (1)

  • 2 x Teaspoons brown sugar

  • Black pepper to taste

  • 1 x Cup Flatleaf parsley, chopped


Place the cubed eggplant in a colander to drain - about 30 minutes then pat dry and in a heavy based pan fry the eggplants until they have softened but still a little firm. Remove and place in a large bowl.

Then in the same pan, add a little more oil and fry down the red pepper strips until softened but still a little firm, importantly giving nice black bits on the skin. Add to the bowl with the eggplants.

Following the same procedure as above, fry down the celery until softened and add to the bowl.

It is essential these three stages are completed separately for full recipe flavour.

Now add the onions and garlic and fry down until onions have fully softened and just beginning to caramelise then add the tomato paste to the base of the pan to remove bitterness - about 3 minutes then add to bowl.

Then add the tomatoes, spices, raisins, almonds, olives, capers and red wine vinegar and sugar and mix everything well into the bowl then transfer to a baking dish and place in a hot oven at 180c and bake for 30 minutes to bring all the ingredients together.

Finally, sprinkle the flat leaf parsley and serve.

Salt Free or Salt Reduced In truth this recipe is not totally salt free. The salt carriers, capers and olives have been rinsed with most of the salt being removed, however, no doubt a little will remain. It depends on your particular salt diet where you place the recipe.

Important: The important acid element of this recipe is from the olives and the red wine vinegar so best quality is a must. In fact quality ingredients across this recipe will reflect in your finished dish.

Comments: We acknowledge that the red peppers (capsicum) are not strictly part of a true Sicilian Caponata, however, their wonderfully rich flavour will add to the dish.