Recipe

Caponata

by Hayden Groves

Hayden Groves’ version of the Sicilian classic

Ingredients

1 large aubergine, cut in 3cm dice
1 large courgette, cut in 2cm dice
1 large red onion, diced
2 celery sticks, cut in 2cm dice
½ tsp chilli flakes
75ml red wine vinegar
3 ripe vine tomatoes, diced
25g capers
40g green olives, stoned and quartered
25g sultanas
1 tbsp brown sugar
150ml tomato passata
A small bunch of basil, leaves picked

Method

Salt the diced aubergine and courgette and put them in a colander over a bowl. Leave to sit for at least 20 mins, then pat dry, brushing off the salt.

Fill a deep pan a third full of vegetable oil and heat to 195C—if you don’t have a thermometer, when you drop a breadcrumb into it, it should brown immediately. Fry the aubergine and courgette in batches until golden, ensuring you allow the oil to come back up to temperature between frying. Drain on kitchen paper.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a wide pan (preferably one with a lid), then fry the onion and celery with a pinch of salt over a medium heat, until soft and just beginning to colour, then stir in the chilli flakes. Fry for another minute, add the red wine vinegar and diced tomatoes and cook for a further 2 mins.

Stir in the capers, olives, sultanas, sugar and tomato passata, bring to a simmer, then add the cooked courgette and aubergine. Season lightly, cover with a lid and simmer very gently for 1 hour. Take off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, then check the seasoning. Fold in the roughly torn basil just before serving at room temperate.

Recipe: Hayden Groves