Bruschetta Caponata Recipe: Delicious Sicilian Appetiser

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by Maggie Turansky


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One of my favourite things about visiting Sicily is the sheer abundance of caponata (a sour-sweet eggplant dish) in all kinds of applications. And one of the best ways to eat it is as caponata bruschetta. While you can eat this dish simply as a side, as a pasta sauce or even as a filling for arancini, using it as a topping for bruschetta is a truly fantastic way to enjoy this dish.

Caponata is reminiscent of French ratatouille or, more similarly in my opinion, Georgian ajapsandali, but with a flavour distinctive all on its own. There are lots of different ways of preparing this dish, however, it is certainly one of the most popular in Sicily and you can find it on virtually every restaurant menu.

So if you’re looking for a great party appetizer perfect for the summer months, then this bruschetta recipe (along with my artichoke bruschetta!) is an excellent option that is sure to be a hit.

Caponata on Bruschetta
Caponata on Bruschetta

How to Make Eggplant Caponata Bruschetta

This recipe is generally quite easy, but there are a few steps so it’s worth getting organised before you get started.

And first things first, you need to toast your pine nuts – this takes the flavour to another level! I do the same thing for my pesto dip!

Ingredients for this bruschetta recipe
Ingredients for this bruschetta recipe

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F and add your pine nuts to a rimmed baking sheet. Toast them in the oven for about five to ten minutes – make sure to keep a keen eye on them after the five-minute mark because they can go from toasted to burnt in a second (I speak from experience).

Remove the pine nuts from the oven and transfer them to a dish to use later.

Toasting the pine nuts
Toasting the pine nuts

Then, add some baguette slices to the same baking sheet and drizzle a bit of olive oil over both sides. Toast the bread in the oven for about ten minutes before removing it and letting it cool until you’re able to handle the slices.

Take a peeled clove of garlic and rub it over each side of each piece of bread. Then set the bread aside for assembling later.

Making the toasts
Making the toasts

Now, moving to the stovetop, it’s time to start making the caponata itself. This all happens in one pan (I like to use a large, cast iron skillet).

Add a good amount of olive oil to the skillet and set over medium heat. Once shimmering, add a small diced eggplant and a hefty pinch of salt. You will notice the eggplant suck up the oil but resist the temptation to add more. As it cooks, it will release it back into the pan.

Adding the eggplant to the pan
Adding the eggplant to the pan

Cook the eggplant until it reduces significantly in size, softens and turns slightly translucent, about five to seven minutes.

Then, add in some chopped red pepper, celery and shallots. Season again with a bit of salt and pepper.

Adding the peppers, celery and shallots
Adding the peppers, celery and shallots

Continue to cook the vegetables for another ten minutes or so until everything is soft and cohesive. Then, add in your toasted pine nuts, minced garlic, capers, raisins, tomato paste and a bit of cinnamon for a unique punch.

Stir and cook this until fragrant – only a few more minutes.

Adding in the capers, raisins, garlic, pine nuts and tomato paste
Adding in the capers, raisins, garlic, pine nuts and tomato paste

Then, add in a bit of honey for sweetness and a good amount of balsamic vinegar for its trademark zing.

Adding the balsamic vinegar
Adding the balsamic vinegar

Stir all of this to combine and cook for just a few minutes longer – just to lessen the punch of the vinegar. Remove from the heat and then stir in some parsley.

Transfer the caponata to a bowl and then spread it evenly over your prepared garlic toasts.

Adding the caponata to the toasts
Adding the caponata to the toasts

Serve warm or at room temperature, it will be delicious either way!

Bruschetta Caponata

Caponata Bruschetta

Topping garlic toasts with sweet and sour caponata, these bruschetta have a distinctly Sicilian twist and are sure to become a party favourite!
5 from 4 votes
Servings 12
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 70 g (½ cup) pine nuts
  • 1 small baguette sliced into 12 centimetre-thick pieces
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and left whole
  • 1 small eggplant diced
  • 1 small red pepper diced,
  • 1-2 large shallots finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp brined capers drained and rinsed
  • 30 g (¼ cup) raisins or sultanas
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F. Place pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and move to oven. Toast until fragrant and golden, about 5-10 minutes. Make sure to check them at 1-minute intervals after the 5-minute mark to avoid burning. Remove from oven, transfer to a dish and set aside.
    Toasting the pine nuts
  • On the same baking sheet. arrange the bread slices so the flat side is facing down. Drizzle both sides with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toast in the oven for 10 minutes, until dry and golden. Rub each slice of bread with the peeled garlic clove. Set aside.
    Making the toasts
  • Meanwhile, add 60ml (1/4 cup) of extra virgin olive oil to a large skillet (I like cast iron). Set over medium heat and, once shimmering, add the eggplant along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and the eggplants have reduced in size considerably, about 5-7 minutes.
    Adding the eggplant to the pan
  • Add the pepper, shallots and celery. Toss to combine and cook, stirring frequently, until all the vegetables are softened and cohesive, about 10 minutes.
    Adding the peppers, celery and shallots
  • Add the minced garlic, capers, raisins, tomato paste, cinnamon and toasted pine nuts. Stir to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the raisins are plump and the garlic is fragrant.
    Adding in the capers, raisins, garlic, pine nuts and tomato paste
  • Stir in the balsamic vinegar and honey. Cook for a minute or two, just to reduce the sharpness of the vinegar. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
    Adding the balsamic vinegar
  • Evenly spoon the caponata over the prepared garlic toasts. Serve hot or at room temperature.
    Adding the caponata to the toasts

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 430IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe or have questions?Click here to leave a comment!

And that’s how to make Sicilian caponata bruschetta! This recipe is so delicious that I’m excited to make it yet another time while writing this up. I’m sure you’ll love this dish as much as I do.

Are you looking for a great use for caponata? Have any questions about this recipe? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frills Kitchen. She is a world traveller, home cook and recipe developer who loves to experiment with new cuisines and techniques at every chance she gets. No stranger to improvising and making do with the equipment and ingredients she has available, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Read More

5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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