Aubergines with Caponata

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  • Serve with warm bread as a light main course.


    • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
    • 2 celery sticks, chopped
    • Olive oil
    • 300g fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled, chopped and skinned, or use a 400g can
    • 10 green olives, stoned and halved
    • 11/2tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 heaped tablespoon brown sugar
    • 2tbsp sultanas, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 2 slenderish aubergines, sliced (12 thick slices)
    • 1 lemon
    • 2tbsp toasted pine nuts
    • Chopped fresh basil and parsley and a few caper berries, to garnish


    1) You can serve this with plenty of bread as a light main course, with grilled meat and fish, or piled onto bruschetta as a starter.
    2) Sauté the onion and celery in the oil until slightly softened.
    3) Add the tomatoes and cook for about 30 minutes until the mixture is reduced and thickened.
    4) Add the olives, vinegar, sugar, drained sultanas and seasoning and cook for 10 minutes more.
    5) Put the aubergine in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes, then rinse and drain.
    6) Brush the slices with oil, then cook on the barbecue or in a heavy-based pan on the hob for about 5 minutes each side, until lightly charred and soft in the middle.
    7) Arrange on a large platter, squeeze over the juice of a lemon, drizzle with oil and season.
    8) Reheat the onion and tomato mixture and pile on top.
    9) Scatter over the pine nuts, herbs and caper berries, drizzle with oil and serve.

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