Smart Recipes with Umami

Umami Caponata

  • Recipes with Umami Ingredients

There are thousands of different recipes for Caponata, a family-favourite aubergine dish from Italy. We added a few ingredients to make our own Umami-boosted version.

The vegetables used here all contain Glutamate. Anchovy fillets and black olives multiply the Umami. To boost the Umami even more we also used sun-dried tomato paste instead of sugar or ketchup, which is often used to add sweetness.⠀

The result is a wonderfully rich and satisfying mostly-vegetable dish.⠀


• 1 aubergine⠀
• 1 onion⠀
• 1 red pepper⠀
• 1 celery stick⠀
• 2 garlic cloves, minced⠀
• 150ml olive oil⠀
• 1 tin of tomatoes (400g)⠀
• 4 anchovy fillets in oil⠀
• 2 TBSP capers in brine⠀
• 100g black and green olives, stoned and chopped⠀
• A few sprigs of thyme, basil and oregano; dried herbs can be used⠀
• 1 TBSP red wine vinegar⠀
• 1 TBSP sun-dried tomato paste⠀
• 1/2 tsp salt⠀
• 1 TBSP dry-roasted pine nuts⠀
• 1 TBSP chopped flat-leaf parsley


• Roughly chop all the vegetables into 2-inch cubes.⠀

• Heat 100ml of oil in a thick-bottomed pan. Fry the aubergine for 7-8 minutes over medium heat until the oil is absorbed and the flesh looks soft. Remove and set aside.⠀

• Heat the remaining 50ml oil in the same pan, and fry all the other vegetables and garlic until the onion is translucent.⠀

• Return the fried aubergine to the pan and add the remaining ingredients except the pine nuts and parsley. Mix well and turn down the heat. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.⠀

• Serve the Caponata with a sprinkle of pine nuts and parsley.⠀

You can eat it immediately, but leaving it overnight and reheating the following day makes the dish taste much richer.