Roasted Vegetable Caponata without Tomatoes Recipe

Vegetable Caponata is roasted Sicilian sweet-and-sour sauce with zucchini and bell peppers instead of tomatoes. This delicious mix of olives, capers, raisins, and pine nuts tastes better with age, so make a lot!  


– 2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled, ¾” chunk – 1½ pounds zucchini or yellow squash ¾” thick, quarter or half-moon pieces, depending on size – 1½ pounds red, yellow or orange bell peppers (no green), ¾” chunk – 1 pound yellow onion, large dice or thin slices cut in ½ (about 3 cups chopped) – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil – Pinch crushed red pepper (optional) – 5 large celery stalks medium dice or thin slices (about 2 heaping cups chopped) – ¾ cup red wine vinegar – ¾ cup sugar – ¾ cup pitted, large green olives, cut into ¼ lengthwise (Sicilian preferred) – ½ cup capers, drained – ½ cup raisins (black or golden or mixed) – ½ tsp salt – Pinch freshly ground black pepper – ½ cup pine nut – ⅓ cup chopped mixed herb

Put rack in centre of 400°F oven. Collect all parts shown. In a small skillet, toast pine nuts on medium-low. Pine nuts should be fragrant and faintly roasted after 2–3 minutes of stirring.   

Step 1


No more leaving! Check for pine nuts (or any nut) burning quickly. Let cool after toasting. Possibly the day before.  

Step 2

Lightly grease three parchment-lined pans. Cook eggplant, zucchini/yellow squash, and bell peppers in one layer on separate pans at different times. Spray veggies with olive oil. Avoid salt.  

Step 3

Roast sheet pans 20 minutes. Tenderise and lightly brown all pans. Your oven may take 20-30 minutes for peppers and 30 for zucchini and eggplant. Tend vegetables without mush. Food with fairy caramelization looks wonderful!  

Step 4

Sauté onions, olive oil, and crushed red pepper (if using) in a big skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes while vegetables roast. Continuously stir celery for 5 minutes. Next, turn off heat. Uncooked veggies should crunch.  

Step 5

Return onion/celery to medium heat after cooking eggplant, zucchini/squash, and bell peppers. Mix vinegar, sugar, onions, olives, capers, raisins, salt, and black pepper. Mix well. 3–5 minutes simmer.  

Step 6

Mix in roasted vegetables without breaking them. Simmer 5-8 minutes, stirring periodically. Sugar/vinegar should cover mixture. Taste and add vinegar or sugar.  

Step 7

Chill the mixture after cooking. With a slotted spoon or skimmer, pour the caponata into a basin and discard the liquid. The mixture can be stored in leftover liquid.  

Step 8

Eating caponata is possible. Sitting improves this, but the hue may darken. Before serving, whisk lightly at room temperature. Mix pine nuts and herbs before serving. Happy eating!  

Step 9

Also See

Roasted Baby Eggplant with Crispy Garlic and Herbs Recipe