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vegetables | aubergine caponata

Serves 2 -3, if served with another dish.

This a favourite with aubergine-loving friends of mine and I often get subtle (and not so subtle!) hints to make some! It's absolutely delicious served hot or cold and it's great for a lunch or supper. This dish also works brilliantly in picnics and buffets.

Wheat free, dairy free, nut free, meat free version...

Ingredients...

Optional:

Method...

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and cook for few minutes.
  2. Add the celery and stir well.
  3. Add aubergines and cook for at least 15-20 minutes. You will need to stir fairly frequently because aubergines are quite greedy vegetables when it comes to absorbing oil and can stick to the bottom of the pan. I tend to leave the lid on after they've been sealed, to steam the flesh.
  4. Aubergines aren't the most attractive when they begin to cook, so if you're unfamiliar with them and they go a dull green colour in the initial stages of cooking, don't worry.
  5. Add the pine nuts and toast them for a few minutes if you wish to use them.
  6. Add in tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes (add the sun dried ones too, if using).
  7. Then add in the tomato paste, vinegar and water and heat through (add olives if using).
  8. Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped spring onions.

Maybe serve with...

My favourite way of serving this is with green beans and new potatoes roasted with rosemary roast potatoes or potato salad. If you have less time, it's just as gorgeous served with rice or a jacket potato. For picnics, it's superb with the creamy honeyed pashley pasta .

For those able to eat wheat...

If you were pushed for time, just grab some lovely bread or toasted pittas and have this on its own, or with houmous and/or a quick salad.

If you have aubergine/s left over, try the simple ratatouille .To use up some pine nuts, try the quick fling pasta. If you have leftover tomatoes, celery and spring onions, try the sublime tomato soup.For leftover celery, try the pepper paprikash.

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