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Winter Squash Caponata

30 minutes prep
30 minutes active cooking
1 hour total

Makes 6 - 8 servings

Using winter squash instead of eggplant for this classic Sicilian dish wasn't my idea, but it's a really good one.

The sweet and sour flavor, called agrodolce in Italian, reflects the North African and Spanish influences on Sicilian food.

What you'll need


For the shopping list


Winter Squash


Celery stalks

2-3 cloves of



Red Onion


From our shop list

$18 - Sicily - Italy


$17 - Pantelleria - Sicily

Capers in Sea Salt

$5 - Naples - Italy

Double Concentrated Tomato Paste

$8 - California

Sicilian-style Sevillano Green Olives

$12 - Napa - California

Trio Red Wine Vinegar

$14 - Hatermuma Island - Japan

Okinawan Brown Sugar

$8 - Pantelleria - Sicily


$7 - Olhão - Portugal

Fine Sea Salt


For the shopping list


Chef Knife


Mixing Bowl


Heavy Skillet

What you'll have to do

Step 1

I think the big, pumpkiny varieties taste better, but you can make this with any winter squash. Cut it into roughly 3/4 inch chunks; you want about 3 cups. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350F for about 25 minutes or until tender.

Step 2

While the squash bakes, soak a couple of tablespoons of Pantellerian salted capers in cold water for about 15 minutes, then drain.

Step 3

Chop a red onion and a couple of celery stalks; cook them in olive oil with a good pinch of sea salt for about 5 minutes. Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet and add about 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Let it cook for a minute or two, then add 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic.

Step 4

Add the cooked squash, the capers, and a handful of coarsely chopped green olives. Stir in a splash (2 tablespoons or so) of Katz Trio red wine vinegar and a couple tablespoons of Okinawan Brown Sugar.

Step 5

Cook gently for another 15 minutes to let the flavors blend, then sprinkle with a few pinches of Pantellerian oregano. Adding a handful of chopped fresh mint leaves would be appropriate, but use Italian parsley if you can’t find mint.

Shop this recipe

Olive Oil

Madre Terra

Madre TerraSicily - Italy
Capers in Sea Salt
Capers, Pickles, & Peppers

Capers in Sea Salt

Bonomo and GiglioPantelleria - Sicily
Double Concentrated Tomato Paste
Pasta & Tomatoes

Double Concentrated Tomato Paste

San MarzanoNaples - Italy
Trio Red Wine Vinegar

Trio Red Wine Vinegar

KatzNapa - California
Okinawan Brown Sugar

Okinawan Brown Sugar

Murakami SyotenHatermuma Island - Japan
Salt, Herbs, & Spices


Francesco RafaelePantelleria - Sicily
Fine Sea Salt
Salt, Herbs, & Spices

Fine Sea Salt

NectonOlhão - Portugal

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