“the whole garden” Caponata ~ Eggplant Salad (makes 4 pints)

DSCN1033It’s a hot, stormy, gray and extremely humid Labor Day. Fortunately we got the harvesting from the garden done when it was only hot and extremely humid, so the countertop is covered in fresh produce, and Will and I are just about to start chopping and sautéing a batch of “the whole garden” Caponata.

I adore eggplant and the incredible variety of ways in which is it used. Caponata (Italian eggplant salad or “poor man’s caviar” as it is known in Ukraine) is one of my favorite appetizer dishes, especially when sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and served on toasts or on endive leaves. When warmed and used as a topping for quinoa or other grains or pasta is a meal in itself. It is also an excellent base for a cold pasta salad, or as a topping for tostados.

I also appreciate the fact that it can be made with eggplant, celery and pretty much any other fresh veggies you have on hand. I don’t have any okra right now, but if I did, I’m sure some would find its way into this batch. BTW, I haven’t tried it yet with green beans or chopped potatoes, but who knows? Just remember that if you are processing or freezing it, potatoes don’t fare well under those conditions. ~ Glyn


“the whole garden” Caponata ~ Eggplant Salad (makes 4 pints)

½ c olive oil
6 c peeled cubed eggplant
1 medium onion, small dice
2 c diced celery
1 c chopped sweet and/or frying peppers
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 c chopped mushrooms
6 c peeled, seeded and diced and drained tomatoes
¼ c chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tbs dried)
¼ c fresh basil, chopped
1 tbs fresh oregano, chopped
½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp ground pepper
¼ -½ c red balsamic vinegar
1 tbs capers, rinsed and drained

In the olive oil, in a very large, deep skillet or saucepan, saute the first six ingredients.
Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper and simmer until veggies are just cooked and sauce is slightly thickened (20 minutes). Add the capers and ¼ c vinegar. Add additional vinegar to taste. Adjust the seasoning. Place into prepared pint jars and either process in a canner, or refrigerate for use within a week.


Great as it is, but it gets even better if allowed to mellow for a day or two in the fridge, or for a couple of weeks if you’ve preserved it by canning.

This entry was posted by Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk.

3 thoughts on ““the whole garden” Caponata ~ Eggplant Salad (makes 4 pints)

  1. Did you mean to say it is only good for a couple of weeks if you can it? I would think it would last a lot longer. Possibly even water bath can if the vinegar is 5% acidity…. Can you provide canning details?


    • Hi! I sent you an email to answer your question, but it’s probably good to let other folks know as well! If you can the recipe in a hot water bath for 30 minutes, it will keep for at least six months. But I doubt you’ll have it around that long! It will also freeze. But if you just refrigerate it, you’ll need to use it within a week or so. Thanks!


  2. I am serving this tonight with baked spaghetti squash and topped with roasted pine nuts. Gluten-free, low-carb, vegan and fabulous! Try it and let me know what you think. Glyn


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