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Caponata     CD HD    Italian     90mins plus chilling



Serves 4     Cold   Hors d'oeuvre   Fish  Nuts  Vegetables   Starter  Appetizer  Healthy Eating  Dairy Gluten  Wheat  Free Italy  Mediterranean  Europe 



2 Large Aubergines ( Eggplants), diced

Salt and Pepper

6 tbsp Olive Oil

1 Small Onion, chopped

1 x 400g/14oz tin Tomatoes

3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

1 tbsp Sugar

1/2 Head Celery, chopped

1 tbsp Capers

25g/1oz Black Olives, pitted and chopped

2 tbsp Pine Nuts, toasted

1 x 200g/7oz tin Tuna, drained

Freshly chopped Parsley to garnish




1. Layer the diced aubergine in a colander, sprinkled with salt. Cover with a plate, weight it and leave to drain for 30-40 minutes. Then rinse the pieces and  dry with kitchen paper. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the aubergine and fry until lightly coloured. Drain on kitchen paper and reserve.


2.  Add the onion to the pan and fry gently, stirring, for 5-7 minutes until soft. Add the tomatoes together with about one-third of their juices. (Reserve the remaining juices.) Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the vinegar and sugar and season to taste. Simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes, until well reduced and richly coloured.


3. Meanwhile, blanche the celery in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Add the blanched celery to the pan together with the aubergine, capers, olives and pine nuts, stirring well to mix. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook gently for 30 minutes, stirring regularly. If the mixture appears too dry or the vegetables show signs of sticking add a little of the reserved tomato juices, but avoid making the stew too wet.


4. Remove the pan from the heat and turn the stew into a bowl. Allow to cool, then cover tightly and chill for at least 24 hours.


5. Bring the stew to room temperature before serving. Correct the seasoning and turn into a serving dish. Flake the tuna into fairly large chunks and scatter these around the edge. Garnish with plenty of freshly chopped parsley as a starter.


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