Friday 23 March 2012


I don't know why I haven't made caponata before. I have had the recipe bookmarked for ages, I also have another recipe for it bookmarked as well. I have a friend that makes it regularly. I was really pleased with how this turned out. I really only made a couple of changes when making it. I would make a couple of others the next time I make it though. I would add some more harissa as it wasn't quite as spicy as I had hoped and I would cut the celery into smaller pieces as it wasn't quite cooked enough for my liking. I served it with plain couscous. It made for a wonderful dinner. The leftovers were fantastic too. 

(adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi)

80ml olive oil
80ml grapeseed oil
1 large eggplant, cut into 2.5cm dice
3 sticks celery, cut in half and then on an angle into 1.5 cm slices
1 red capsicum, cut into 1.5cm dice
2 handfuls green beans, trimmed and halved
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
½ tsp harissa paste (I would use 1 - 2 tsp next time)
400 g tinned tomatoes
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
20g capers
30g kalamata, pitted and halved
1½ tsp caster sugar
Salt and black pepper
shave parmesan and couscous, to serve

Heat half of both oils in a large pan. Add eggplant and fry until browned. Remove to a colander and drain for a couple of minutes then transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. 

Add half remaining oils to the pan then add the celery and fry until starting to soften. Add capsicum and green beans and cook for a few minutes further. Drain in the colander and then transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. 

Add remaining oils to the pan with onion and harissa cook over a medium-low heat until onion begins to soften. Add the tomatoes and vinegar bring to a simmer then return the vegetables to the pan together with the capers, olives and sugar. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve with couscous and top with shaved parmesan. 

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