Sicilian Eggplant with Capers and Olives

, from Issue #45. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Sicilian Eggplant with Capers and Olives

A southern Italian dish of eggplant with agrodolce – a sweet and sour sauce. Finished with toasted pinenuts and aromatic basil it is best served at room temperature, never chilled.


1 large oval purple eggplant
olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium vine tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons roughly chopped black or green olives
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons pinenuts, toasted and roughly chopped

To serve
¼ cup chopped fresh basil 


Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

Cut the eggplant into 1½ cm thick slices and place on a flat baking tray. Brush both sides with olive oil then sprinkle with the allspice and season well.

Roast for 25 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Roughly chop and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onion and garlic with a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally. Add all the remaining ingredients and cook for 2 minutes then stir in the eggplant. Simmer for 5 minutes then taste and add a little more vinegar or sugar if needed. Cool then stir in the basil and transfer to a serving dish. Makes about 1½ cups