Sicilian Aubergine Stew (Eggplant Caponata)
- olive oil
- 2 large aubergines, cut into large chunks
- 1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed, soaked and drained
- 1 handful green olives, stones removed
- 2-3 tablespoons best-quality herb vinegar
- 5 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, lightly toasted, optional
Get yourself a large pan, pour in a couple of lugs of olive oil, and place on the heat. Add your aubergine chunks and oregano, season with a little salt and toss around so the aubergine is evenly coated by the oil. Cook on a high heat for around 4 or 5 minutes, giving the pan a shake every now and then. (Depending on the size of your pan you may need to cook the aubergine in batches.)
When the aubergines are nice and golden on each side, add the onion, garlic and parsley stalks and continue cooking for another couple of minutes. Feel free to add a little more oil to the pan if you feel it’s getting too dry.
Throw in the drained capers and the olives and drizzle over the herb vinegar. When all the vinegar has evaporated, add the tomatoes and simmer for around 15 minutes or until tender.
Taste before serving and season if you need to with salt, pepper and a little more vinegar. Drizzle with some good olive oil and serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley leaves and the almonds if you like.