This is a colourful Mediterranean vegetable caponata recipe made with aubergines, courgettes, peppers and olives cooked in a tangy sweet and sour dressing. It’s delicious hot or cold and can be served as a side dish or as a main meal simply served with fresh crusty bread to mop up all those tasty juices. Don’t be put off by the amount of olive oil used as the vegetables will absorb plenty during cooking, but be sure to use a good quality oil for the best flavour.
- 6tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- 1 large aubergine, diced
- 2 courgettes, diced
- ½tsp salt
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 25g large green olives, pitted and halved
- 1tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
- 2tbsp caster sugar
- 4tbsp red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 5 mins. Stir in the aubergine, courgettes and salt cover and cook for 15 mins, stirring occasionally until golden. Add the red pepper and cook for a further 10 mins until tender.
Stir in the olives, capers, sugar and vinegar and season with ground black pepper. Cook, uncovered for a further 5-10 mins until most of the liquid has evaporated. Serve hot or cold.
Top tip for making Caponata
Add 4 ripe chopped plum tomatoes and 1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano to give this dish an extra Mediterranean flavour.