Photo: Lisa Romerein; Styling: Rori Trovato
YieldsMakes 5 cups (enough for 12 servings, plus leftovers)
Time: 50 minutes. Caponata, a sweet, tangy Sicilian eggplant-pepper relish, tastes downright addictive spooned over toasts with mild, creamy ricotta cheese.

How to Make It

Step 1
1

Preheat oven to 350°. Lay bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with about 2 tbsp. oil. Bake until toasted and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Step 2
2

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook eggplant, stirring often, until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Step 3
3

In the same pan, cook garlic in remaining 2 tbsp. oil, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add celery, bell pepper, and olives, stirring to combine, and cook until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water, the vinegar, tomato paste, raisins, and pine nuts and cook until heated through. Stir in reserved eggplant, salt, and sugar, then mix in herbs.

Step 4
4

Serve caponata with ricotta on the toasted bread.

Step 5
5

Make ahead: Chill caponata up to 2 days and store toasts airtight up to 2 days.

Step 6
6

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Ingredients

 1 loaf (1 lb.) crusty Italian bread such as ciabatta, cut into 1/3-in.-thick slices
  About 6 tbsp. olive oil, divided
 1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2-in. dice (about 4 cups)
 2 tablespoons minced garlic
 1 cup chopped celery
 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
 1 cup chopped green olives
 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
 1/4 cup tomato paste
 1/2 cup raisins
 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
 2 teaspoons kosher salt
 2 teaspoons sugar
 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
 1 cup ricotta cheese

Directions

Step 1
1

Preheat oven to 350°. Lay bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with about 2 tbsp. oil. Bake until toasted and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Step 2
2

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook eggplant, stirring often, until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Step 3
3

In the same pan, cook garlic in remaining 2 tbsp. oil, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add celery, bell pepper, and olives, stirring to combine, and cook until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water, the vinegar, tomato paste, raisins, and pine nuts and cook until heated through. Stir in reserved eggplant, salt, and sugar, then mix in herbs.

Step 4
4

Serve caponata with ricotta on the toasted bread.

Step 5
5

Make ahead: Chill caponata up to 2 days and store toasts airtight up to 2 days.

Step 6
6

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Sicilian Bruschetta