Caponata with Fennel, Olives, and Raisins

 Bon Appétit | January 2005

Caponata is a Sicilian specialty typically served as a relish or side dish. It also works as an appetizer on bread rounds.

Makes 6 cups.


6 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds unpeeled eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3 cups coarsely chopped red bell peppers
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh fennel bulb (about 1 medium)
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 1/4 cups tomato sauce
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, bell peppers, fennel, and garlic; sauté until eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes. Add olives and raisins, then mix in tomato sauce and vinegar. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer until caponata is thick and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes longer. Mix in basil. Season caponata to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Serve at room temperature.