An Herbal Feast: Sicilian Caponatina

Throw the ultimate holiday party this season—it’s easier than you think.

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Serves 6 to 8

This appetizer owes its wonderful, multi-layered flavor to green olives, capers, raisins and multiple culinary herbs. Serve with slices of freshly toasted garlic crostini.

• 3 whole eggplants
• 3 stalks celery
• ½ onion
• ½ cup olive oil
• 10 whole green olives, sliced
• 1 tablespoon capers
• 12 ounces tomato sauce
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• ½ cup raisins
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
• 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
• 8 to 10 basil leaves, chopped

1. Peel eggplant and chop into ½-inch cubes. Dice celery and onions.

2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add eggplant, celery and onions. Cook 12 to 15 minutes.

3. Add olives, capers, tomato sauce, vinegar, raisins, sugar, parsley, salt and red pepper flakes. Stir thoroughly and remove from heat.

4. Cool in refrigerator for 1 hour. Serve garnished with fresh oregano, tarragon and basil.

Allison Martin is associate editor of The Herb Companion. She enjoyed tasting her way through this story. 

For the main article, An Herbal Feast for the Holiday Season, click here.