Tag Archives: Caponata

Recipe of the Week – 14th December 2015 – Xmas Party Caponata!

  
Now that the Christmas party season is technically upon us, I find it difficult to come up with new and exciting food ideas for guests and visitors, but this one should be a winner every time, and is a lot more interesting that vol au vents or canapés! I find this works best served at room temperature on small pieces of toasted bruschetta with lots of fresh herbs on top.

Makes 12

Ingredients

2 large aubergines, cut into 1cm cubes

2 small celery stalks, finely diced with the leaves

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 tin good quality plum tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

A small handful of sultanas

A small handful of green olives, thinly sliced

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

1 tbs Demerara sugar

Handful chopped parsley

Salt and pepper

For the Bruschetta;

1 large French stick, cut at 45 degrees into 12 slices

1 clove of garlic, halved

1 tsp sea salt

Method

1. Place the aubergine cubes in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt and toss together. Leave for one hour to bring out the juices then rinse thoroughly and drain.

2. In a large saucepan, heat half the olive oil and gently sauté the celery, onion and garlic until soft but not browned.

3. Add the tin of tomatoes, including juice and simmer to reduce for 10 minutes.

4. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, sultanas and olives and simmer for a further 10 minutes, then take off the heat.

5. In a separate frying pan, add the remaining olive oil and fry the aubergine cubes until tender.

6. Add all the ingredients together and simmer for a final 10 minutes. Season to taste.

7. Allow to cool and stir through half of the chopped parsley. 

8. Lightly toast the French stick slices under the grill for 2 minutes, turning once. Rub the halved garlic clove over the toasted slices, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and a final drizzle of olive oil.

9. Add a generous portion of the caponata mixture, top with the remaining chopped parsley, and serve.

Recipe of the Week – 23rd November 2015 – Caponata Linguine

  
I have posted a caponata recipe before, but having not made it for a while I had forgotten how really satisfying and rich this was as a meal. I have been playing around with it a bit, and this week in the cafe I served it on a bed of linguine and spaghetti, which seemed very popular. There are lots of ways of adapting this – next time I might try putting sherry in it!

Serves 6 

Ingredients

4 tbs olive oil

2 medium onions, finely diced

2 large aubergines, cut into 1.5cm cubes

2 medium courgettes, roughly diced

3 small celery stalks, finely diced with the leaves

1 x 400g can of good quality chopped plum tomatoes

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

100g sultanas

Handful green olives, thinly sliced

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

1 tbs Demerara sugar

75g dried linguine

75g dried spaghetti

Handful chopped parsley

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Place the aubergine cubes in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt and toss together. Leave for half an hour to bring out the juices then rinse thoroughly and drain.

2. In a large saucepan, heat half the olive oil and gently sauté the celery, onion and garlic until soft but not browned (approx. 10 minutes)

3. Add the tins of tomatoes, including juice and simmer to reduce for 10 minutes.

4. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, sultanas and olives and simmer for a further 10 minutes, then take off the heat.

5. In a separate frying pan, add the remaining olive oil and fry the aubergine cubes and courgette until tender.

6. Add all the ingredients together and simmer for a final 10 minutes. Season to taste.

7. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan bring the linguine and spaghetti to the boil in salted water until al dente. Rinse, drain and stir through 2 tbs olive oil.

8. Allow the caponata mixture to cool slightly and stir through the chopped parsley. Serve over the pasta with a final drizzle of olive oil.

Recipe of the Week – 1st December 2013 – Caponata

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After I published my recipe for Butternut Squash Caponata Pasta last week I’ve had a few people requesting the original Caponata recipe that I started with, based on aubergines. This is great warm, however I prefer it cold on bruschetta as a snack anytime!

Serves 4 or 6 as a side dish

Ingredients

3 tbs olive oil
2 large aubergines, cut into 1.5cm cubes
3 small celery stalks, finely diced with the leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tin good plum tomatoes
2 garlic clothes, finely chopped
Handful sultanas
Handful green olives, thinly sliced
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs Demerara sugar
Handful chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

Method

1. Place the aubergine cubes in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt and toss together. Leave for one hour to bring out the juices then rinse thoroughly and drain.

2. In a large saucepan, heat half the olive oil and gently sauté the celery, onion and garlic until soft but not browned.

3. Add the tin of tomatoes, including juice and simmer to reduce for 10 minutes.

4. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, sultanas and olives and simmer for a further 10 minutes, then take off the heat.

5. In a separate frying pan, add the remaining olive oil and fry the aubergine cubes until tender.

6. Add all the ingredients together and simmer for a final 10 minutes. Season to taste.

7. Allow to cool and stir through the chopped parsley. Serve with a final drizzle of olive oil.

Recipe of the Week – 25th November 2013 – Butternut Squash Caponata Pasta

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This is a great variation on the traditional caponata recipe which uses aubergines, and the butternut squash adds a sweeter flavour which lends itself perfectly to a pasta dish like this. Alternatively, this is great on a hot baguette or as a pizza topping.

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and cut into 1cm dice
4 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbs raisins
4 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 x 400g tin of good quality chopped tomatoes
2 tbs green olives, chopped
2 tbs capers, rinsed (optional)
400g dried pasta of your choice (I used macaroni)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Toss the butternut squash cubes in the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking tray and bake for approximately 25 minutes until soft.

3. Meanwhile, soak the raisins in the balsamic and white wine vinegar.

4. In a large frying pan gently sauté the onion and garlic in 2 tbs olive oil for 5 minutes until soft.

5. Add the vinegar and raisins and squash cubes to the onions and cook gently to coat the squash for 5 minutes.

6. Stir in the tomatoes, olives and capers if using and cook uncovered for 20 minutes, until the mix is thick.

7. Meanwhile cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente then drain.

8. Mix the pasta and the caponata mixture together to combine and serve warm.

A Summer Sunday Lunch

I was a bit stuck as to what to do the family for lunch today – we’re certainly not traditionalists but sitting down as a family to eat occasionally seems to be a thing to encourage. It’s way too hot to think about roasting things, which is my usual fallback, so we went for a combination of broken herby potatoes, chilled caponata, walnut bread and a side salad. It was soon demolished by everyone and I think I will do it again, even when the weather returns to its normal setting of freezing sideways rain!

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