caponata

great as an appetiser or a main meal


Caponata is a really delicious vegetable dish of aubergines and black olives. It is full of flavour and is so versatile as you can serve it either hot or cold, as a starter or main meal. It can also be served with your favourite meat or fish dish. It is really just a matter of taste.

It is a great recipe for vegetarians too as it is full of gorgeous healthy sunshine vegetables. For all lovers of ripe sunny tomatoes, aubergines and peppers, it is a fabulous dish.

If you have never been to the Provencal area of the South of France this recipe will transport you there with it's wonderful aromas of these beautiful vegetables, as they simmer away in your kitchen.

Served with crusty French bread and a glass of your favourite wine it is sure to be a favourite. Serves Four People



Ingredients

• 2 small aubergines

• 2 green peppers

• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 4 ripe tomatoes

• 1 stalk of celery

• 2 cloves of garlic

• 1 teaspoon of sugar

• 1 tablespoon white or red wine vinegar

• 4oz(100g)black olives, pitted

• Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

• Cut the aubergines into thick slices and place in a sieve.

• Sprinkle them with salt and place a weight on top such as a bowl or plate and leave for half an hour.

• Deseed them and cut into thick strips.

• Rinse the aubergines under cold water and dry with kitchen paper.

• Saute (lightly fry) the aubergines and peppers in the olive oil for a few minutes.

• Remove from pan and keep warm.

• Add the tomatoes, celery, garlic and olives to the pan , cover and cook gently for about 15 minutes then season with salt and black pepper.

• Add some wine vinegar and a little sugar to give a good flavour (you can taste as you add this for your liking) Return the aubergines and peppers to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

• Add parsley to garnish.

Serve your Caponata cold as a starter with fresh crusty French bread or toast. It can be left in the refrigerator for a few days so you can make it ahead of time and relax when you are ready to serve it!

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