Grandpa's Sicilian Eggplant

When visitors hear about New Orleans' huge Sicilian immigrant population that dates back to the late 1800s, they often ask, “Where's the New Orleans ‘Little Italy’?” Back in the day, nearly every New Orleans neighborhood was a Little Italy with an Italian grocer on the corner influencing French Creole, German and Irish shoppers. Chef Duke LoCicero remembers his Sicilian grandpa with this dish.


  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggplants (medium to large), peeled and then cut into small cubes
  • 2 medium red onions, diced small
  • 2 large bulbs garlic, roasted
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 cups sliced black ripe olives
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced fresh basil
  • 1 cup sliced green olives
  • 1 cup diced pimientos
  • 1 cup sweet Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup capers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon anchovies, puréed
  • 1/4 tablespoon crushed dried red pepper


Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add eggplant, onions, and garlic; sauté over low to medium heat until eggplant is tender. Add all remaining ingredients—marinara sauce, black olives, basil, green olives, pimientos, wine, capers, sugar, vinegar, anchovies, and crushed red pepper—and mix well. Continue to sauté until 80 percent of the liquid is gone. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 6 hours.

Serve hot or cold, with grilled seafood or meat. This dish can be used many ways, including with pasta.

Serves 8-10

Recipe compliments of Chef Duke LoCicero, Cafe Giovanni

Market Umbrella


Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.

Crescent City Farmers Market


The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.