Caponata Involtini (aubergine rolls)

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November 4, 2016

These little blighters are a combination of Nigella's Involtini and Thomasina Miers Aubergine Caponata but who cares? Caponata is one of those classic Sicilian fusion dishes which, despite its aubergine and tomato roots, can include a whole range of fried and crunchy blanched vegetables; fennel, celery, courgette, cauliflower, squash, red peppers, cucumber etc.  It's more a treatment than a recipe. Wrap in a slice of griddled aubergine and they're great as a snack, vegetarian main, side for meat dishes, part of an antipasta or mezze plate etc etc. And they're surprisingly easy and can be done in stages. Best served lukewarm.



3 large aubergine

2 courgette

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

12 cherry tomatoes

4 tbsp olive oil + extra for the final bake

1 red onion; peeled, quartered and finely sliced

2 cloves of garlic; peeled and finely chopped

2 sticks of celery; diced and quickly blanched in boiling water

a generous handful of chopped flat leaf parsley

2 tbsps chopped oregano leaves

2 tbsp capers

100g pitted black olives; roughly chopped

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar (vary according to the sweetness of the tomatoes)

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp sultanas

180g pot of BFS strained labneh

4 tbsp breadcrumbs (+extra for the final bake)


1Slice two of the aubergine into thin slices (approx. 6mm). Dice the other one and add the first and last slices that you won’t be able to roll up. Dice and add the courgettes.

2Fry the diced aubergine and courgette in hot olive oil until it turns a rather brown shade of golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and pat dry with kitchen paper. Put the pan to one side.

3Brush the slices of aubergine with oil and quickly griddle on both sides until just soft and nicely charred

4Soften the onion and garlic in the diced aubergine pan, add the tomatoes (both), sugar, salt and vinegar and cook until it begins to darken.

5Add the capers, aubergine, courgette, olives, sultanas and herbs and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the celery and allow to cool.

6When it’s lukewarm stir in the labneh and breadcrumbs. Mash the mixture up a bit so it stays together.

7Lay out the slices of griddled aubergine, place a small tbsp. of filling on top, roll up and transfer to small roasting tray. You should have about a dozen.

8Top with whatever takes your fancy; grated parmesan, pesto, sunflower seeds, chopped herbs, breadcrumbs etc and bake in a 190C oven for 25-30 minutes.

9Serve lukewarm with a splash of vinaigrette.