Rowley Leigh’s Caponata

Traditionally a Sicilian dish, caponata can be found in numerous variations of chopped aubergines, celery, capers and with older versions that even include cocoa powder. Although, this could be a step too far. Last July, chef Rowley Leigh hosted a Summer Feast with us and he opened with his classic caponata recipe served alongside our charcuterie.

Yields1 Serving
 3 aubergines
 1 onion
 2 sticks celery
 4 cloves of garlic
 2 pears
 1 dessert spoon of tomato puree
 1 dessert spoon of sugar
 75 ml white wine vinegar
 1 tsp capers
 1 tsp sultanas
 1 glass of white wine
 Salt, pepper and lemon
1

Bring the white wine to the boil and pour over the washed sultanas. Chop the onion and celery quite fine and stew in a tablespoon of olive oil until transparent. Chop the garlic very fine and add to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and add the tomato purée. Peel the pear, cut into small cubes, avoid the core and roll in half the lemon juice. Add these to the pot along with the sugar. Let the mixture dry over the heat until it starts to caramelise. Add the vinegar and continue cooking until this too has evaporated.

2

Cut the aubergines into small cubes. in a separate pan, fry the aubergines in a very hot pan with four tablespoons of olive oil until they are well coloured. Add these to the aromatic mixture, pour the white wine and sultanas over and give it a good stir. Turn the heat own to the lowest possible setting, cover the pot and cook very gently for half an hour The mixture should now be a jammy consistency, and the ingredients very well amalgamated. Add the capers, taste for seasoning and leave to cool.

3

Caponata is always best made the day before and served at room temperature.

Ingredients

 3 aubergines
 1 onion
 2 sticks celery
 4 cloves of garlic
 2 pears
 1 dessert spoon of tomato puree
 1 dessert spoon of sugar
 75 ml white wine vinegar
 1 tsp capers
 1 tsp sultanas
 1 glass of white wine
 Salt, pepper and lemon

Directions

1

Bring the white wine to the boil and pour over the washed sultanas. Chop the onion and celery quite fine and stew in a tablespoon of olive oil until transparent. Chop the garlic very fine and add to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and add the tomato purée. Peel the pear, cut into small cubes, avoid the core and roll in half the lemon juice. Add these to the pot along with the sugar. Let the mixture dry over the heat until it starts to caramelise. Add the vinegar and continue cooking until this too has evaporated.

2

Cut the aubergines into small cubes. in a separate pan, fry the aubergines in a very hot pan with four tablespoons of olive oil until they are well coloured. Add these to the aromatic mixture, pour the white wine and sultanas over and give it a good stir. Turn the heat own to the lowest possible setting, cover the pot and cook very gently for half an hour The mixture should now be a jammy consistency, and the ingredients very well amalgamated. Add the capers, taste for seasoning and leave to cool.

3

Caponata is always best made the day before and served at room temperature.

Rowley Leigh’s Caponata
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