Recipe: Lemon Basil Eggplant Caponata

Don’t you just love when at the end of the growing season friends throw bags of produce your way from their gardens ~ or is that just me? This eggplant caponata recipe is the result of eggplants and peppers from one friend, tomatoes from two others and a few of the last ripe tomatoes from my garden as well.


Gotta love it when its all FREE!

Not only did this little shindig turn out to be the taste of the town, but its pretty darn eye-catching too.  Plus after about a dozen and a half changes in plans for what I’m brining to the next food swap (which happens to be tomorrow night) this eggplant spread ended up to be my final decision. Look out Philly Food Swappers Eggplant Caponata in the house!!!!!

I would imagine if you don’t just eat the whole jar spoon by spoon it would be really great served with a side of pita chips or as a bruschetta type topping. I’m planning on using it as a topper for pasta and as a sandwich condiment!

How would you use an eggplant spread like this one?


Lemon Basil Eggplant Caponata

  • 2 globe eggplants, peeled & chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cups of sweet red peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup of sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 pounds of tomatoes, peeled, seeded & chopped
  • 1/2 red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of capers, drained
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 fresh basil, snipped
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice



In a large bowl combine the eggplant and 1 tablespoon salt and toss to coat.  Let stand 1 hour, rinse, drain and squeeze excess water from the eggplant.

In a large enamel or nonstick heavy pan heat the oil and add the peppers, onions and garlic.  IMG_4213

Cook until softened.  Add the eggplant, tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, capers, crushed red pepper, and the 1/2 tsp salt.  Bring to boiling, stirring often.


Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until thickened.


Stir in the basil, lemon peel and lemon juice.  Remove from heat.


Ladle hot mixture into 1/2 pint sterilized hot jars leaving 1/2 headspace.  Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and screw on bands.

Process in a hot water canning bath for 15 minutes.

Makes 8 cups (Recipe adapted from Canning Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publications)

3 Responses

  1. Sounds very similar to a ratatouille I make – yummy!

  2. MINUS THE SUGAR and I AM IN HEAVEN! I am pinning this RIGHT NOW! 🙂

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