Caponatina is a lighter and easier version to make than its cousin Caponata – which requires frying three ingredients separately. With this recipe, you lightly brown all of the vegetables together and give them a quick wilt in pressure cooker for just four minutes – making no frying and no waiting!

You can make a complete meal of this dish by serving it with crostini, and a couple slices of fresh mozzarella!

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger none 4 min. High(2) Normal

4.0 from 4 reviews
Sicilian Summer Vegetable Medley - Caponatina pressure cooker recipe
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 large Eggplant, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium pepper (red or yellow), cut into strips
  • 2 medium Zucchini, cut into rounds
  • 1 onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon Capers (strained and rinsed if in oil, rinsed if in salt)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (one for cooking, one for sprinkling at the end)
  • 1 tablespoons raisins, re-hydrated and squeezed
  • ¼ cup olives, pits removed
  • 1 bunch basil, chopped (half for cooking, half for sprinkling at the end)
  • salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Put the eggplant in a strainer and sprinkle the cubes with salt. To get all of the bitter liquid out: add a plate on top of the cubed eggplant and some kind of weight on top of that to push it down (I use my full tea kettle) and leave them to rest for about half an hour.
  2. In the meantime, wash and slice the other vegetables as indicated.
  3. In the pre-heated pressure cooker, on high heat without the lid, add the olive oil and brown the vegetables, adding them in the following order, stirring them constantly with a wooden spoon.
  4. First, add the eggplant and potatoes (wait 3 minutes but keep stirring), peppers and onions (wait another 3 minutes and keep stirring), Zucchini (stir for another 3). Your cooker will begin to get quite full, so stir carefully!
  5. Finally, add half the chopped basil, pine nuts, raisins, olives, capers, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. If you're using an electric pressure cooker, that requires more than ½ cup of water to reach pressure, add one cup of water.
    Close the lid and set the valve to pressure cooking position.
    Electric pressure cookers and stove top pressure cookers: Cook for 4 minutes at high pressure.
  7. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Normal release - release pressure through the valve.
  8. Transfer the contents of the pressure cooker to a serving dish immediately (so the vegetables can cool) and the caponatina come to room temperature before mixing in the cherry tomatoes and dressing with a little fresh olive oil, balsamic vinegar (if needed - check to taste the acidity first - the tomatoes if not fully ripe may have contributed enough acid).
  9. Sprinkle with fresh basil and the remaining pine nuts, raisins and olives.

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  1. I love the looks delicious too. I’m going to give this a try.. :)

  2. This was great! However, due to my own incompetence, I suggest that other amateur chefs watch out for the following:

    1) Pay attention to your cube size for eggplant vs. other vegetables. Too large, and they never cook in time, too small, and they get soggy and overcooked.

    2) Adjust the heat for the 3 minute mark, pay attention to your veggies and make sure they’re not overcooking/undercooking.

    Thank you for these delicious recipes, I’m a second year in medical school, and I feel that all I need is a pressure cooker and this website to see me through the year!

    Mille grazie,

  3. Yes, I agree with Josh, 3mins max or the eggplant turns to mush!

  4. Isn’t the minimum one cup of liquid required for this recipe?

    1. Welcome, Paul. This recipe uses the vegetable’s liquid as the liquid for the recipe. This is an advanced technique that most pressure cookers that can be brought up to pressure with at least half a cup of water can do. However, it was published before electrics came on the scene that usually require about 1 1 1/2 cups – in that vein. I will update the recipe to reflect this.



      1. Hi Laura, thanks for your kind reply! I just bought your book after purchasing a new Presto 6 quart stainless steel pc to replace my 30 year old Presto. The Caponatina was the first recipe I wanted to try but I was skeptical so I “oven fried”‘instead similar to Martha Rose Schulman’s recipe in “Mediterranean Light.” The reason I replaced the old pc was because it had developed hot spots that caused food to scortch easily. I didn’t want the new pc to develop hot spots! And I realize the recipe was online not in book.

      2. I have a 6 quart Presto jiggle top stovetop pc. The instructions call for minimum 1 cup of liquid. I use an electric stove. Do I need to add water for this excellent recipe?

        1. Yes, you should. : )



      3. SO water no water, browning no browning. I ended up with mush in a lot of liquid. Going back & forth on recipes on this page & in instapot. different times. And what is a wedge shaped onion, how big or little was zucchini supposed to be, size of potatoes. Check out Home Chef recipes.. they are specific on sizes and amounts. I was going to freeze some of this for later but it would probably be really soupy after that. Give this one(and me) a F.

        1. Thana, I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience but from your comment, it sounds like you didn’t actually follow the recipe. It clearly states to add liquid for electric pressure cookers. You did not. As a consequence, the cooker took longer to reach pressure and the vegetables were overcooked.

          I certainly hope that you will try one of my recipes again, but following my instructions and guidance – that is how the recipes are tested and how I can guarantee fantastic results.



  5. This recipe is found on p19 of the recipe booklet that came with my 8qt. Instant Pot. It doesn’t add any water. The IP manual reads that 18 oz. liquid is required to generate pressure. Will the vegetables release enough liquid to work as directed in the IP Recipe Booklet?

    1. Thanks for letting me know, Joe. As you can see, the original recipe here says in the instructions to add 1 cup of water for electric (Instant Pot) pressure cookers. Though the minimum amount is 1 1/2 cups the veggies will supply the rest of what is needed for the cooker to reach pressure.

      I have contacted Instant Pot to let them know – unfortunately, this is not the first or only error they made in the 4th edition booklet. : (



      1. This was the first recipe I tried with my new Instant Pot and I agree that the recipe book that came with it is very off the mark. It leaves off entire sections of your recipe (like adding the rest of the ingredients). I did not add any water and there was a ton of liquid in the pot at the end. However, I’m wondering if a shorter amount of cooking time may improve the flavor and texture as it was a little too mushy.

        Question, are the tomatoes added at the end before serving? Or during the cooking? The way I read your recipe here, they are added before serving. I did add them during cooking.

        Thanks so much – my husband enjoyed the dish very much.

  6. So glad to find your website and this recipe. Our new Instant Pot recipe booklet that came with the pot included it but is missing steps (several of them), I’m glad they said where the recipe came from so I could make it all make sense. Can’t wait to try this with the full recipe.

  7. its looks very delicious . I’m going to give this a try.. :)

  8. hi
    i found a new pressure cooker in the internet called instant pot
    please tell me can i make this recipe in this new cooker

    1. Yes, you can make this recipe in the Instant Pot. Use the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” function (it depends on the model) and tap in the recommended time for Electric Pressure Cookers.



      1. Laura, your recipe leaves out when to add the olives and raisins. Could you please let me know as soon as possible since I’m making it right now.

        1. The first half of the olives and raisins are added in step 5, the second half is added at the end.



  9. I also found some steps missing in the Sicilian Vegetable Medley recipe in the 4th edition of the Instant Pot Recipe Booklet. I filled in the blanks and the dish was delicious and texture to my liking. Although I did not add any water there was much water in the pot at the end of the cooking. There was no problem reaching pressure. Why would I want to add water? I think this would make the dish way too watery. The recipe I used also called to use Quick Release method. This worked very well. Is there any reason not to use Quick Release?

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