Courgette Caponata

August 19th, 2008

With the bounty from my weekend doing Farmer’s Markets, I decided to try making caponata for when my friends came over. This is a very loose version garnered from reading several recipes and then making it up! The general premise is that you cook onions, peppers and aubergine sloowly and then add some vinegar, tomatoes, capers and olives and continue to cook into a delicious stew, sweet from the peppers and onions and a bit sour from the capers and vinegar. Eat topped with pine nuts and basil. We had our slathered on toast, but I’m thinking you could have it with couscous or mixed into pasta. Any carb vehicle would do really.

I made mine with fabulous yellow courgettes, instead of the usual aubergine. So for a more authentic recipe, click here. I also made mine the night before to allow the flavours to develop and in fact you could keep a tub in the fridge for a few days, the flavours will just get better. We also found that it tastes better when cooled to room temperature rather than hot.

I’m pretty pleased that I got to use some basil from the bush we have growing in a window box. We got some other herbs at the farmers’ market, so we’ll see how they do. Including orange thyme, any suggestions on how to use it? I’m thinking perhaps with fish…


Serves 4

2 onions, sliced
3 peppers, sliced into long strips
2 courgettes, halved and sliced diagonally
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp olives, sliced
200g cherry tomatoes, halved

To serve:
basil and toasted pine nuts

Cook the onions, courgette and peppers in a liberal slug of olive oil for 10mins until softened and catching in places. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a few more minutes. Now add the rest of the ingredients, and cook slowly for 20mins more until the tomatoes have broken down and you have a thick stew. Season and serve at room temperature with the basil and pine nuts sprinkled on top.

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