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Sicilian food is all about sweet/sour flavours and where I live it’s late summer and so the perfect time to cook a caponata. I’ve seen a few fiddly recipes for this, mine is simple. There’s no need to be precise with the amounts of vegetables but please don’t buy ready-pitted olives as they have no flavour. Plus it’s easy to squash them and remove the pits.
You’ll need: 1 red onion, 3 sticks of celery, 3 zucchini, 1 eggplant, a punnet of cherry tomatoes (or more), a can of black olives (I like kalamata), five tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, white pepper, olive oil.
Dice all vegetables. Fry onion and celery together in olive oil until beginning to soften then add zucchini, eggplant and olives. You may need to add more oil. Stirring frequently, fry till all veges are tender. Don’t overcook as the eggplant will get snotty! Then add cherry tomatoes and when skins split squash a few slightly with your wooden spoon. Mix the sugar and vinegar and pour in to veges. Season with salt and white pepper. Allow to simmer for a few minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature. Great with a bit of steak or chicken grilled on the barbi.