Sautéed mackerel fillets with eggplants and pepper caponata

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 4 mackerel fillets
  • A few grape tomatoes
  • 1 fresh red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Toscano PGI extra virgin olive oil


For the caponata:

  • 1 Italian eggplant
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves
  • 1 fresh red onion
  • 1 glass of tomato puree
  • 1 spoon of desalted capers
  • 1 spoon of raisins
  • 1 spoon of pine nuts
  • 1 spoon of olives (taggiasche)
  • A few fresh basil leaves
  • ½ glass of red wine vinegar
  • 1 spoon of cane sugar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Toscano PGI extra virgin olive oil



Carefully clean the fish fillets. Don’t remove the skin, but make sure to remove all the fishbones. In case there are some fishbones left, remove them with tweezers. Once the fillets are ready, put them in a little bit of water until you are going to cook them.

Wash the eggplant and cut it in cubes of approximately 1cm. Put the cubes in a strainer and sprinkle them with salt, place a plate on top and then a weight on top of the plate in order for the eggplant’s liquid to be drained.

Meanwhile cut the red pepper, the celery and the onion in small pieces and put them aside.

Pour abundant olive oil in a large saucepan and start frying the eggplant. Once golden brown, remove eggplant from the pan and drain it on a paper towel.

In the same pan, after removing the excess oil, brown the onion, the pepper and the celery. Cook until golden brown and add a pinch of salt. When the onion is translucent, add the fried eggplants, the raisins, the pine nuts, the olives, two roughly chopped basil leaves and the capers and brown quickly.

Add the cane sugar and once it is melted simmer with red wine vinegar. When the vinegar is reduced add a glass of tomato puree and a glass of water.

Cook it on a low flame for approximately 15-20 minutes, adding some salt if necessary (the capers, even if desalted by soaking in water, still release some salt and it might not be necessary to add more salt).

Cut the onion in thin slices and brown it in a non stick pan with Toscano PGI extra virgin olive oil and with the tomatoes (punch the tomatoes with a fork before putting them in the pan) and a clove of garlic, cook on a low flame, adding water if needed, until the tomatoes are soft and wrinkly.

Add the fish fillets and cook them for two minutes on each side, adding some salt and pepper.

Serve the fish with the caponata.