Caponata is a Sicilian dish which is perfect as a pasta sauce, a dip or a side, or even on its own. There are many variations, and in this version I've omitted the typical raisins and sugar, but feel free to add them if it tickles your fancy!
Ingredients 1 tbsp olive oil
1 eggplant, cut into 2cm cubes
1 zucchini, chopped
1 brown onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 green capsicum, chopped
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp capers
1/4 cup pitted green olives, sliced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts or almonds
1/2 cup water, if needed.
Chop and slice the ingredients.
Heat oil in a frying pan or large pot over medium heat. Add the eggplant, zucchini, onion and garlic and sauté for about 15 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft. You may need to add a few dashes of water here and there (or more oil), so the eggplant doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the tomatoes, red wine vinegar, capers, celery and capsicum. Cover and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are all cooked through, for about 20-30 minutes (it depends on how well cooked you want the veg).
Meanwhile, toast the nuts. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and spread out the nuts on a baking tray. Place in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until browned.
If using almonds, lightly smash them using a mortar and pestle.
Turn off the heat and stir through the olives, basil and lemon juice.
Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle over the nuts. It can be served warm or cold, and will keep in the fridge for a few days.