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Eggplant Caponatina Crostini

  • Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup pignoli/pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less, to taste), optional
  • 2 medium sized eggplants, finely diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Quick Tomato Sauce, see below
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Good-qualty crusty bread, sliced
  • Fresh basil, for garnish

for the Quick Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Kosher salt


for the Quick Tomato Sauce

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a small saute pan. Add onion, season generously with Kosher salt, and cook until softened, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute, taking care to not let garlic burn. Stir in sugar, then add crushed tomatoes, thyme, and basil. Season with Kosher salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer for approximatley 20-30 minutes.

for the Eggplant Caponatina

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, currants, pine nuts, and crushed red pepper flakes (if using), and season generously with Kosher salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  2. Add eggplant, cocoa, cinnamon, and sugar. Stirring occasionally, cook for approximately 8 minutes, until eggplant has softened. Add thyme, balsamic vinegar, and approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the quick tomato sauce. Stir to combine.
  3. Feel free to add a bit more tomato sauce if desired. Refrigerate or freeze leftover tomato sauce for future use.
  4. Lower heat to medium-low and cook caponatina, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Let cool completely, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made ahead a couple of days.
  5. Remove caponatina from refrigerator about 15-20 minutes before serving just to bring up the temperature a bit. Top sliced bread with a generous spoonful of the caponatina and top with thinly sliced fresh basil.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • Serving Size: A whole lot of caponatina!