Brown wooden board with crostini and colourful caponata antipasto

Traditionally caponata is served as a stew, but I prefer a caponata antipasto. The ingredients are lightly cooked which helps the vegetables retain their vibrant colours and textures. Quick and easy to make, it’s handy to keep a jar in the fridge.

Consider the ingredients list as a guide or starting point. A caponata antipasto naturally lends itself to your resourcefulness and creativity. It’s perfect for using what’s at hand and seasonal. Feel free to adapt the ingredients to what is readily available and your individual preference.

Quick and easy to make, it’s handy to keep a jar in the fridge. Serve with crusty fresh bread, or on crostini. For a plant-powered lunch or brunch, heat a portioned serve with a wedge of crispy baked polenta or as a side with your supper.

Have a look at Peperonata too, if you want simple dishes that encourage inventiveness.

Caponata Antipasto


  • 1 large Aubergine or 2 small ones – cubed
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil or vegetable stock for an oil-free dish
  • 1 red onion – finely sliced
  • 2 zucchini or scallopini – sliced or wedged
  • 1 red capsicum – de-seed and cut into strips
  • 4-5 medium tomatoes – diced
  • 3 cloves garlic – chop or grate
  • 1 stem celery – sliced or diced
  • 2 tbsp capers or homemade nasturtium capers
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or your favourite vinegar
  • 12 Olives – green or black, pitted and halved
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • basil leaves to serve


Wash and prepare all the vegetables.

Optional – char grill zucchini slices.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy-based pot and cook the aubergine with a sprinkle of sea salt for 5 minutes.

Add a little extra olive oil to sauté the celery, onion and garlic until softened.

Add the strips of red capsicum, diced tomatoes, zucchini and vinegar. Simmer until the vegetables are just tender before stirring the olives and capers through the caponata.

Season with salt and pepper, taste and adjust to suit.

Optional – Garnish with plant-based parmesan or basil leaves to serve.

Quick and easy to make a jar of Caponata Antipasto will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.

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