Caponata (tastes so much nicer than it looks here)

Aubergines are pretty cheap just now, you can get one in a supermarket for about 75p (less in a market) and, because of their meaty texture, I always think they make a pretty substantial meal. The lovely Rick Stein calls Caponata ‘a relish’ but it’s really a yummy antipasti which could also make a good lunch with a wedge of sourdough toast or an interesting side dish to have with chicken or fish. Anyway give it a try – it’s one of those ‘agrodolce’ or sweet/sour recipes that really wake up your tastebuds and it can be eaten hot or cold.

Caponata

  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 red onion 
  • 2 celery sticks 
  • 2 red/yellow peppers 
  • Handful of green olives (stoned if you can muster the energy) 
  • 3 tablespoons good red wine vinegar   
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rinsed capers 
  • Some good olive oil 

Cut the aubergine into bitesized chunks (see pic) and brown on a little olive oil. Remove from pan before they collapse into mush. Chop the onion, celery and peppers and fry gently in the same pan. When browned pour in the vinegar and allow to bubble up before adding the tomatoes and sugar. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes until thickened slightly and then add the aubergines, olives and capers. Simmer for another 5 minutes and season to taste.

I think this is best eaten the next day, if you can wait that long.

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