Chef John Folse: Caponata

Chef John Folse: Caponata

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Prep Time: 2 Hours

Yields: 15 Servings

This Italian eggplant dish is a classic and may be served as a salad or antipasto. This recipe makes a large amount of Caponata. You may preserve the excess by packing it into hot, sterilized Mason jars, sealed tightly and boiling for 15 minutes in a water bath.

  • Ingredients:
  • 8 medium eggplants, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups diced onions
  • 3 cups diced celery
  • 1 cup diced red bell peppers
  • ¼ cup diced garlic
  • 2 cups tomato paste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • ? cup sugar
  • 1½ cups red wine vinegar
  • 1 (22-ounce) jar salad olives, diced
  • 2 tsps oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • Louisiana hot sauce to taste


Place eggplants in a large pot over medium-high heat and cover by 1 inch with hot water. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 10−15 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste, sauce, sugar and vinegar. Blend well into vegetable mixture and simmer 10–15 minutes, stirring often. Add drained eggplant and olives. Season to taste using oregano, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Blend well into the tomato mixture and continue to cook until eggplant is extremely tender and full flavored, 30−45 minutes. You may wish to serve with crackers or French bread croutons or as a vegetable.

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