Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Caponata (Aubergine and Tomato Stew)

The title is totally unprepossessing, and I'm sure memories of poorly-cooked ratatouilles are sending you scrolling away from this screaming. HOWEVER! I implore you to stay. Try this recipe! Particularly in summer, when aubergines and tomatoes are in plentiful supply. The capers and olives make a fantastic contrast with the fresh vegetables, and it's amazingly filling as well. Yes, it's Jamie Oliver. Yes, olive oil must be glugged. But you won't be disappointed with a new away to jazz up those med veg.


  • 2 large aubergines, cut into large chunks
  • 1 heaped tsp dried oregano
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed, soaked and drained
  • 1 handful green olives, stones removed
  • 2-3 tablespoons best-quality herb (or at least wine) vinegar
  • 5 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, lightly toasted, optional

Fry the aubergine and oregano in olive oil on a  high heat for around 4 or 5 minutes, giving the pan a shake every now and then. (Depending on the size of your pan you may need to cook the aubergine in batches.) When the aubergines are nice and golden on each side, add the onion, garlic and parsley stalks and continue cooking for another couple of minutes. Feel free to add a little more oil to the pan if you feel it's getting too dry.

Throw in the drained capers and the olives and drizzle over the herb vinegar. When all the vinegar has evaporated, add the tomatoes and simmer for around 15 minutes or until tender. Taste before serving and season if you need to with salt, pepper and a little more vinegar. Drizzle with some good olive oil and serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley leaves and the almonds if you like.

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