how to make Cape-oh-nate

Caponata is a traditional Mediterranean dish, very similar to ratatouille. It’s great whether served hot or cold, and is quite rich. It is a little tedious to make, but is worth it every time!

Quantities in this recipe are for about ten people, so multiply or divide as need be.

Start by preparing about 250ml of stock. You can use vegetable, meat or poultry stock, and you will use this throughout the cooking process.

Now chop 2 medium sized onions and place in a large pan or wok. Add a tablespoon of oil and start browning.

Chop two green peppers and throw into the pan. Add a splash of stock to keep the ingredients moist.

Next – top, tail and chop 2 corguettes or zucchini. Throw these into the pan and stir regularly. Add stock occasionally.

Now chop a few sticks of celery and a large aubergine. Add to the pan and mix regularly.

You may have noticed that there’s a simple pattern here. Start with the vegetables that take longest to cook, and by the time you dice the next batch, its time to throw them in. Add stock occasionally and stir frequently.

Chop and seed half a dozen tomatoes. add to the pan along with a couple of tablespoons of kunserva (a traditional concentrated tomato paste) and the last of the stock.

The last two ingredients to go into the pan are a handful of olives, and a tablespoon of capers preserved in vinegar.  Simmer for a few more minutes until almost all the liquid has dried up.  Take of the heat and allow to cool.

Caponata will last a few days in the fridge, so don’t be afraid to make a little extra. Also it tastes just as good warmed or cold.

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3 responses to “how to make Cape-oh-nate

  1. Tis I again avec la suggestion

    Aubergines, or as I like to call them- ‘O-machines’ coz they’re so bloody divine… They tend to have alot of bitter juices in them. If you chop them up beforehand and put them in a colander with some rock salt on top and something heavy over them, you’ll start to notice a brownish liquid coming out after about 5 mins. eave them there for about 20 mins and all that bitterness is gone xxxx

    • We’ll need matt to check if he had done this – but I think he did and forgot to mention it in the blog.

      I made something divine with o-machines last night…! Yes, they are very versatile.

  2. Ooh great hint Lexi – also… if you’re sauteing them, mum taught me the “soak them in salty water for 30min to 2 hours” thing, which makes them absorb much much less oil. For some reason, they don’t become soggy and bleurgh either, just delicious, crisp on the outside, juicy in the middle. Only learnt this the other day, and i was amazed! it’s interesting to see the water turning a dark dark brown also!

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