Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saucy Sicilian lunch - Caponata recipe

Caponata is a sort of sweet and sour Italian vegetable stew.  It's delicious for lunch, served hot with some bread.  Traditionally, Italians serve it as a side dish.  I think it would be great with tuna steak.  It keeps for a couple of days in the fridge and the flavour just gets better.

There are loads of different variations on the recipe, some include raisins, others exclude pine nuts.  I based mine on this recipe from Delicious magazine but with a few tweaks.


  1. Good glug of olive oil
  2. 1 red onion, chopped
  3. 2 celery sticks chopped
  4. 1 large, or 2 small aubergines, chopped into small cubes
  5. 400g tin tomatoes
  6. 100g green olives
  7. 2 tbsp capers
  8. 2 tbsp caster sugar
  9. 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  10. 50g pine nuts
  11. Handful of fresh basil leaves

  1. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan over a low heat. Add the onions, celery and aubergines and cook gently for at least 20-25 minutes or until the pepper and aubergines are very tender. Don’t allow the mixture to catch on the bottom of the pan.  I added a couple of tablespoons of water after about ten mins, to keep the aubergine moist.
  2. Add the tinned tomatoes and cook for another ten minutes.
  3. Roughly chop the olives with the capers. Add to the vegetables with the sugar and vinegar, and cook for 15 - 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. 
  4. Stir in the pine nuts.  Cook for a further 5 minutes.
Serve hot or cold, as you prefer.


Chopped celery

Caponata served with toasted ciabatta

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