Eggplant Caponata with Black Sea Bass

Lunch / Dinner

Eggplant Caponata with Black Sea Bass

Hailing from the island of Sicily and filled with seaside flavors, this traditional dish is as Mediterranean as they come.

Caponata is a classic Sicilian salad that stars eggplant as its main feature along with onion, tomatoes, olives, capers, and vinegar, and often includes anchovies and pine nuts. It’s typically served as a side dish or appetizer and is equally good hot, cold, or at room temperature. Here it serves as a backdrop for pan-seared sea bass, and the result is so flavorful, it’s sure to be the highlight of your weeknight dining experience.

Though many think of eggplant as a vegetable, it’s actually a berry. The variety most commonly available in the U.S. is dark purple and pearshaped. Choose smaller eggplants — they’re younger and much less bitter.


4 servings

Total Time

Print Recipe

Share Recipe






Test Kitchen Tips

Fresh fish fillets may still have needle-like pin bones just below the surface. Tweezers and needle-nose pliers both work great for removing them without damaging the fish.

“Sea bass” is a term used to describe any saltwater fish, but black sea bass is a true member of the bass family. It can be found whole and cut into fillets.


Place eggplant in a colander set over a bowl, toss with 1 tsp. salt, and let sit 30 minutes; remove and pat dry.

Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large sauté pan over medium. Add eggplant, onion, celery, and garlic; cook until eggplant is soft and brown, 810 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, Italian herbs, and pepper flakes and simmer over low heat, 5 minutes. Stir in capers, raisins, vinegar, and sugar; season with salt and black pepper.

Season fish with salt and black pepper. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over high.

Sear fish until a golden-brown crust forms and flesh flakes easily, 34 minutes per side.

Serve sea bass with caponata. Garnish servings with basil.


Salt the eggplant before cooking to draw out moisture and keep the caponata from becoming watery.


So its tangy flavor doesn’t cook out, add the vinegar at the very end along with the capers and raisins.


To get a good sear, cook the fillets until golden brown, trying not to move them around in the pan.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

Calories: 399

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 21g 32%

Saturated Fat 3g 15%

Cholesterol 58mg 19%

Sodium 1059mg 44%

Carbs 24g 8%

Fiber 6g 24%

Protein 29g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Reviews ()

Add Review

Latest Cuisine Issue Cover

Subscribe Today and Get 4 Free Digital Books!