Melanzane Alla Siciliana

My heart longs to live on a small island off the coast of Sicily. Ortigia reminds me of Venice, without the canals. The streets are narrow, the atmosphere in the piazza amazing, and it is beautiful. Every morning we walked to the market, and bought fresh produce for that day. You buy what you need, including the fresh herbs to suit your dish. When making this melanzane alla Siciliana I was taken straight back to the smells and tastes of this place I could make my home.

Melanzane Alla Siciliana
Melanzane Alla Siciliana
Head straight on to the Recipe For ♥ Melanzane Alla Siciliana ♥

For years, Dave and I would take the N2 to get to work. But we eventually stopped going that way when it started taking too long. Ryan, who housesits for us, told me that he uses Gordons Bay Road. So, Dave and I changed our route. It was way quicker as we left home around 6h30, before the school rush started. When we went into hard lockdown we changed our training routine. We decided to still get up at the same time, but start our day off with gymming. This was an easy choice for us as we have a home gym, and it was only meant to be for 3 weeks. But for me, that 3 weeks turned into 5, and I was really enjoying starting my day with a training session under the belt.

Today’s inspirational recipe from Lavender and Lime ♥ Melanzane Alla Siciliana ♥ #LavenderAndLime Share on X

So I suggested to Dave that we stick to that routine, and leave for work an hour later. That had zero impact on how long it took to get to work as the schools did not open straight away. And when they did, the scholars were on a day on / day off rotation. So basically the school traffic was only half of what it normally was. But then life went back to normal, and our 15 minute drive started taking double that time on some mornings. The best I could hope for was 25 minutes, and one day it took me nearly an hour! For a measly 12 kilometers this was not acceptable. So, we have gone back to using the N2. The trip is longer distance wise, but shorter time wise. In fact, this morning Dave went the old way by mistake, having left home a good 10 minutes before me. And I got to work before him!

Melanzane Alla Siciliana

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Melanzane Alla Siciliana

This is my adaptation of Melanzane alla tarantina
Recipe Category: Italian, Vegetarian
Makes enough for: 2 people


  • 30 mls drained capers
  • 15 black olives, pitted
  • 5 g fresh mint leaves
  • 5 g fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 0.625 mls chilli flakes
  • 10 g grated pecorino remano
  • 1 aubergine, quartered
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 20 mls panko bread crumbs


  • Preheat the oven to 200° Celsius
  • Place the capers, olives, mint leaves, basil leaves, garlic and chilli flakes into a mortar and mince together with the pestle
  • Add the cheese and stir to combine and set aside
  • Place the aubergines onto a cutting board skin side down and cut incisions into the flesh, at 1.5cm intervals, without cutting all the way through the skin
  • Place into an ovenproof dish and drizzle with olive oil
  • Season generously then cover the aubergines with the caper mix, pushing the mixture into the slits
  • Place into the oven and cook for 30 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top
  • Change your oven to the grill setting and place back into the oven for 5 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and enjoy
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18 thoughts on “Melanzane Alla Siciliana

  1. Thank you for this beauty which will be trialled as soon as I can access an eggplant . . . all my current flavour favourites ! It is hard to believe now I would be in Northern Italy 1-2x a year for a couple of decades loving the food – from Rome northwards . . ,. south of Naples was supposedly ‘hicksville’ . . . only during the past few decades have I realized all my favourite flavour combinations live around the ‘Boot’ and on the Islands !!!! Am smiling about your mornings . . . . at that hour I may be awake in bed with my first cup of coffee . . . am up way past midnight, my fun and excitement hours . . . 🙂

  2. I just love eggplant! Yes it’s funny how our street that used to get so busy at peak times pre-covid now has hardly any traffic. I guess people work from home a lot more, and perhaps changed their routes.

  3. I’m sorry about the traffic. The dish is very intriguing and different for me, Tandy. I like cappers. I do have what I like to call a good “sense of culinary adventure”. Hopefully I’ll get to try this one day. Hugs.

  4. Hi Tandy, the traffic has definitely increased significantly this year. It’s been disappointing to see that none of the hygiene protocols have been retained. The hospitals were sparking clean during covid and now we are back to dirty toilets and uncovered long hair. Humanity just never learns.

    1. Luckily here some things have been maintained which is a good sign. I have however not been in a hospital since Dave had his accident.

  5. I love these kind of dishes with eggplant, your trip sounds amazing. Our street is really quiet which is great.

  6. Tandy I’m hoping my last comment posted to you. Great recipe, in case it didn’t. Pauline from Happy Retirees Kitchen.

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