Garlic Grilling Bread with Eggplant Caponata

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Yield: four 9" flatbreads; 4 cups caponata

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This chewy-soft flatbread is spiked with garlic. Cook it on your barbecue grill for a striking appearance and wonderful flavor. Caponata, a flavorful Italian vegetable melange, is the perfect complement.

Read our blog about this caponata and dipping bread, with additional photos, at Flourish.

Garlic Grilling Bread with Eggplant Caponata

star rating (6) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: four 9" flatbreads; 4 cups caponata
Published: 01/01/2010


Grilling Bread

Eggplant Caponata

  • 1 medium-sized eggplant, stem removed, skin left on, cut into 3/4" cubes, about 7 cups cubes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces, about 2 3/4 cups diced onion
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into 3/4" cubes, about 2 1/2 cups cubed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1/2 cup oil-cured Italian black olives, pitted
  • 2 medium-sized, firm plum tomatoes, sliced

Tips from our bakers

  • If you're using dried minced garlic, soak it overnight in the 2 tablespoons oil called for in the recipe. While this isn't completely necessary—don't stress if you didn't do it—the garlic flavors the oil nicely, and the oil softens the garlic a bit.


1) To make the bread: Mix and knead all of the ingredients to make a soft, supple dough.

2) Place the dough in a lightly greased container, cover with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise until it's very puffy, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

3) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into four pieces.

4) Grease four 10" squares (or 9" x 12" rectangles) of parchment paper or waxed paper.

5) Use your greased fingers to press each piece of dough onto the parchment, pressing it into a circle or oval. The dough should be no more than 1/4" thick.

6) Brush or spray the crusts with olive oil, and let them rest for about 30 to 60 minutes, while you preheat your grill to about 400°F.

7) Place the crusts with their parchment directly onto the grill, with the parchment on top. Peel off the parchment. If your grill has a cover, close it.

8) Cook the breads for about 4 minutes. Turn one over; it should feel fairly set, and have golden-brown sear marks. If not, continue cooking till the breads feel set and are golden on one side.

9) Cook the breads on the other side for about 4 minutes, until they're cooked all the way through, and both sides are browned.

10) Remove from the grill, and serve warm or at room temperature, cut in wedges.

11) To make the caponata: In a large strainer or colander, toss the eggplant with a generous sprinkling of salt. Weigh it down, and set it in the sink to drain for 30 minutes.

12) Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan (11" to 12" pan, if possible). Add the eggplant and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it's beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

13) Stir in the onion, garlic, and tomatoes. Cover the pan, and cook gently, over medium heat, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

14) Remove the cover from the pan and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the caponata is quite thick.

15) Add the sugar, salt to taste, and the black pepper. Remove the pan from the heat, and transfer the caponata to a bowl to cool.

16) When the caponata is lukewarm, stir in the capers, olives, and sliced plum tomatoes.

17) Serve the caponata at room temperature, with wedges of bread.

Yield: 4 flatbreads and about 4 cups caponata, about 8 servings.


  • star rating 06/07/2013
  • cherbear711 from KAF Community
  • Excellent, both the caponata and the bread. Perfect meal for a hot summer evening! It started to rain before I could get the bread on the grill, so I used my grill pan and the stove top to cook them, they turned out just like they were supposed to, so good that I probably won't go to the trouble of lighting the grill in the future, or, heating the oven.
  • 04/23/2013
  • Annie from Avon, CT
  • Need an appetizer for a party that I can make ahead of time and not worry about how long it stays ln the buffet table. How far ahead can I make the caponata? How far ahead can I make the bread?
    The caponata can easily be made up to 5 days ahead of the event: it would improve in flavor, actually! The bread would be best grilled the day of, though the dough could be started the night before and left to rise in the fridge for the first rise. The next day, shape the the flatbreads and grill as stated for optimum freshness. You could also completely cook the flatbreads (grilled and all!), then freeze them wrapped very well in plastic wrap. To serve, grill lightly on low heat to "refresh" straight from the freezer: do not thaw overnight or they will turn rubbery. Bset, Kim@KAF

  • star rating 06/15/2012
  • runbear from KAF Community
  • This bread is quick to make and DELICIOUS! I substituted more white flour for the semolina, but otherwise I made it as written. The garlic and olive oil give great savory flavor; my 3 small boys loved it. I used waxed paper, not parchment, and regretted it. The waxed paper stuck terribly to the dough and we had to scrape it off with a (KA) dough scraper. Next time I'll use parchment. But once it got on the grill it was nicely done in minutes.
  • star rating 08/21/2010
  • Jolager from KAF Community
  • The caponata was wonderful! I found the bread a challenge, though. I measured the ingredients by volume and they would not come together. I ended up adding nearly a third cup more water and still ended up with a stiff dough. Has anyone else had this problem?
    You may have added too much flour. When using volume measurments we suggest you use the fluff method (fluff your flour in your canister) then spoon it lightly into your measure and level it off. This will give you a cup measuring 4.25 ounces. JMD@KAF
  • star rating 03/04/2010
  • Laura from Reno Nevada
  • 425' was fine for the oven though at high altitudes (we're at about 4700') 15 minutes was plenty. We haven't made the caponata yet - unfortunately that was the 'Day 2' part of the plan and the bread didn't last that long. Suppose that means we'll have to do it again. I'm really looking forward to this one come grilling time
  • 07/16/2009
  • from
  • It sounds good, but what are the alternatives if you don't have a grill? Pan fry? Bake? Broil?
    We didn't try this in the test kitchen, but the blog notes 425' oven for 15 - 20 minutes. You can bake on a cookie sheet or hot baking stone. The grill gives those distinctive marks - cooked either way, the bread will be a delicious platform for the caponata. Irene at KAF

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