Like pesto, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I first tried caponata. It’s the most delicious Italian aubergine stew that’s served at room temperature. It’s great with antipasti, on bread or as part of a salad. You could even leave it hot and serve it on pasta with lots of Parmesan. Even nicer the next day after its cooked.

Serves 2-3.


4 teaspoons maple syrup or sugar
5 tablespoons olive oil
A few aubergines cut into 1 inch chunks
1 medium onion finely cubed
4 garlic cloves minced
1 400g tin of chopped plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of baby capers
A handful of pine nuts
A handful of chopped basil

Heat the oil in a very large pan (I use a large nonstick frying pan)over medium heat. Add the aubergine, onion and garlic cloves. Gently fry with a lid on for 15- 20 minutes stirring every so often until the aubergine starts to brown and is tender. If it’s not browning, take the lid off and stir fry gently till it does.
Put the rest of the ingredients in, except the pine nuts and basil.
Cover and simmer for about another 12 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and put on a serving plate.
Sprinkle over the basil and pine nuts. It’s very nice with parmesan too.

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