From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alternative namesCapunata
Place of originItaly
Region or stateSicily
Main ingredientsAubergine/eggplant
Ingredients generally usedCelery

Caponata (Sicilian: capunata) is a Sicilian dish consisting of chopped fried eggplant/aubergine and other vegetables, seasoned with olive oil, tomato sauce, celery, olives, and capers, in an agrodolce sauce.[1]

Variants may add carrots, bell peppers, potatoes, pine nuts, and raisins.[2]

A Palermo version adds octopus, and an aristocratic recipe includes lobster and swordfish garnished with wild asparagus, grated dried tuna roe and shrimp.[3] These are exceptions to the general rule of a sweet and sour cooked vegetable stew or salad.

Today, caponata is typically used as a side dish for fish dishes and sometimes as an appetizer, but since the 18th century it has also been used as a main course.

Caponata is historically associated with Sicily's Jewish community, and is sometimes still referred to as caponata alla guidia.[4]

A similar Neapolitan dish is called "cianfotta". The dish is also popular in Tunisian cuisine.


The etymology of the name is not reliably known. Some suggest it derives from the Catalan language, others that it comes from the caupone, the sailors' taverns.[5] The dishes described by Wright would suggest that in the past the Sicilian dish was similar to the Genoese capponata.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gangi, Roberta (2006). "Caponata". Best of Sicily Magazine. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
  2. ^ Shulman, Martha Rose. "Caponata Recipe". NYT Cooking. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  3. ^ Phillips, Kyle. "Caponata alla Siciliana-The Baroness of Carni's Caponata". Archived from the original on 2017-01-19. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  4. ^ Baur, Joe (2023). "Caponata alla giudia: Sicilian aubergine and vegetable stew". BBC. Retrieved 2024-01-22.
  5. ^ Wright, Clifford A. (2008). "A History of the Sicilian Caponata". Archived from the original on 2008-06-04. Retrieved 2008-05-26.

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