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Active time
40-45 minutes
Total time
1 hour, 40-45 minutes
4 servings
Serving Size
1/4 of recipe


2 medium-to-large eggplants


⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil 

½ cup water

1 medium-sized onion, diced

2-3 celery stalks, diced

¼ cup Pantelleria capers 

¼ cup black olives (optional)

1 ½  tablespoons sugar

3-5 tablespoons tomato sauce, or more if desired

Olive oil, for frying

1 tablespoons vinegar

¼ cup finely minced peanuts, toasted


Tomato Sauce

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon Mediterranean oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained



  1. Peel the eggplants, and dice into 1⁄2-inch cubes. Arrange the eggplant cubes on a sheet, salt, and let sit, or “sweat,” for 1 hour.
  2. In a medium frying pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil and the water over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, and sauté over medium heat until the water evaporates. Add the capers, olives (if using), sugar, and tomato sauce*, and simmer for 15 minutes. 
  3. Separately, heat a small amount of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the eggplant cubes until cooked through, 7-10 minutes. 
  4. Add the celery, onion, and tomato sauce mixture to the eggplant. 
  5. Stir in the vinegar. 
  6. Serve the caponata in four portions, topping each with a sprinkling of the toasted peanuts. 

An Oldways recipe and photograph adapted from Ristorante La Nicchia in Pantelleria, Italy, created in Partnership with The Peanut Institute, Peanut-Institute.org.

*For tomato sauce, use any prepared or house made version. We used the following: 

Tomato Sauce 

  1. Heat the olive oil on medium-low, and then add tomato paste and cook, stirring until the olive oil begins to turn orangey-red.  
  2. Add all the onion, garlic, oregano, and salt, and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, drained, and mix, also smashing the tomatoes until the sauce is smoother.

An Oldways recipe, adapted from Spice Trekkers and Escoffier, created in Partnership with The Peanut Institute, Peanut-Institute.org.


Calories: 330
Total Fat: 24g
Saturated Fat: 3.5g
Sodium: 250mg
Carbohydrate: 28g
Fiber: 9g
Total Sugar: 16g (Added Sugar: 5g)
Protein: 6g

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe

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