Sicilian Aubergine Caponata {Vegan+GF}

Course: Side
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: dairy-free, gluten-free, italian, sicilian, side, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Author: The Petite Cook
Sicilian Aubergine Caponata is one of the most traditional Italian recipes -This lighten up version with roasted aubergine makes a great veggie-loaded appetizer to share and it's naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
Print Recipe


  • 2 large aubergines
  • 2 tbsp Mazola Corn Oil
  • 2 large celery stalks diced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 200 gr cherry tomatoes halved (or 4 large ripe tomatoes , roughly chopped)
  • 1-2 tbsp salted capers rinsed, soaked and drained
  • handful green or black olives stones removed (I used Kalamata olives)
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tsp double concentrate tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp apple vinegar
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • handful fresh oregano leaves
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 180C and arrange a baking tray into the middle shelf.
  • Cut the aubergine evenly into medium-sized chunks, sprinkle with coarse salt and leave to rest in a colander for at least 30 min, then quickly wash under running water and pat dry on a kitchen cloth.
  • Place the aubergine chunks in a large bowl and coat with Mazola oil. Season with salt and pepper, and arrange on a baking tray. Roast in the oven until crispy and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  • Place the diced celery in a pot of boiling water with a little salt and blanch for 1-2 minutes. Drain and transfer to a sieve covered with a kitchen cloth.
  • Heat a large pan with the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in chopped onion, garlic and halved tomatoes. Cook over low-heat until the onion is nicely caramelized and tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Throw in capers, olives, toasted pine nuts, and roasted aubergine. Add in the tomato paste and one tablespoon of water, if you feel it's getting too dry.
  • Sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with vinegar. Simmer until all vinegar has evaporated, then cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes over low-heat, until all ingredients are cooked through.
  • Top your caponata with teared basil leaves and oregano, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve with toasted rustic bread.