Sicilian-Style Broccoli Rabe With Eggplant and Capers

Sicilian-Style Broccoli Rabe With Eggplant and Capers

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: Sweet and sour eggplant relish can be made ahead and stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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  • Yield:Serve 8 to 10
  • Active time: 45 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes


  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 quart)
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup canned whole peeled tomatoes with their juice, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 bunches (about 2 1/2 pounds) broccoli rabe, thick stems trimmed, cut into 3-inch lengths


  1. 1.

    Place eggplant on a large plate lined with a triple layer of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Season with salt. Top with another triple layer of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Top with another large plate. Microwave on high power until eggplant has lost most of its moisture and appears slightly shriveled, about 8 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is starting to break down, about 5 minutes longer. Add tomato paste, capers, raisins, sugar, vinegar, and chopped tomatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a gently simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced into a thick, stew-like consistency, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  3. 3.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli rabe and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and transfer to a large bowl. Add eggplant mixture and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more vinegar or sugar as desired. Serve.