Caponata as it should be

Don't take it out of a can. Make it yourself!

Recipe provided by Michael Diacono, chef patron at Giuseppi's, Mellieha and Rubino, Valletta.

Serves 4


  • 2 aubergines
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 sticks celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 150g homemade tomato sauce
  • 1 small bunch of basil leaves
  • 10 pitted black olives
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 100g roasted almonds
  • 100g raisins
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Wash the aubergines and dice. I like to deep fry the aubergines in abundant clean oil till golden brown then drain on kitchen paper. You may also shallow fry in a little oil but the result is not the same.
  2. Dice the celery and carrots. Finely chop the onion.
  3. Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a pot and fry the onion, stirring often. 
  4. Add the celery and carrot.
  5. Cook till the vegetables are golden then add the tomato sauce and the torn basil leaves. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for about 10 mins.
  6. Add the fried aubergines, olives, capers, almonds, raisins, honey and vinegar. 
  7. Season with salt and pepper and simmer gently for a further 10 mins until caramelised.
  8. Best prepared the day before needed then stored in the fridge to allow flavour to develop.