December Recipe of the Month: Caponata

December 27, 2023

This recipe is modified from a Food & Wine recipe. I substitute fennel for the celery and apple cider vinegar for the sherry vinegar for a seasonal holiday update, and to add PCOS friendly ingredients. Serve at your New Year's bash.


  • 3/4 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pitted green olives
  • 1/2 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped parsley


  • In a colander, sprinkle the eggplant with 1 teaspoon of salt and toss; let stand for 30 minutes. Squeeze out any excess water.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak the raisins in hot water until softened and plump, about 10 minutes. Drain.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and fennel, cover and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the red bell pepper, garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until shiny, about 1 minute. Add the tomato and cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until it begins to break down, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the drained eggplant and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is very tender, about 3 minutes longer.
  • Transfer the vegetables in the bowl back to the pot and add the olives, capers, raisins and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley. Let the caponata cool to room temperature and serve with bread or crackers.