Aubergine Caponata Stew

Serves 2-3

About this recipe

Slow cooked tomato-based stews are delicious with vegetables like aubergine that benefit well from being cooked for a longer period of time to ensure they are really soft. Caponatas include ingredients like olives and capers that are a brilliant way to add depth of flavour with minimal fuss.

Unlike the traditional version of a caponata, I’ve added in white beans for a source of protein, carbohydrate and fibre. I find haricot beans work especially well as they add another texture and soak up lots of the flavour from the dish. But feel free to add in any beans or lentils that you have available.

Again, this is another prime example of how stew or curry recipes can be adapted really easily to use up any odds and ends you have in the fridge veg wise – courgettes, peppers, fresh tomatoes, and spinach are all great additions.

This dish is perfect in a Tupperware the next day or to freeze any leftovers.


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Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Large aubergine (or two small) cut into chunks
  • 3 Cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 Large bunch of fresh herbs such as mint, parsley, basil (including stalks)
  • 2 Tsp dried mixed herbs e.g. oregano
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 12 Black olives, halved (de-stoned)
  • 1 Tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tin of white beans such as haricot or cannellini
  • 2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flaked or roughly chopped almonds, lightly toasted

Optional – Serve with your choice of grains such as brown rice, quinoa or cous cous

Instructions

Firstly, set a large saucepan on medium heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil.

Chop up the aubergine into medium sized chunks (roughly 4cm) and add to the pan to cook for 10 minutes or so until they begin to soften and are turning golden brown.

Next, add the onion, garlic and parsley stalks and dried herbs. Continue cooking for another couple of minutes. Feel free to add a little more oil to the pan if you feel it’s getting too dry.

Throw in the drained capers and the olives and drizzle over the balsamic vinegar, cook down for a couple of minutes to allow the vinegar to cook off.

Then add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for around 15 minutes until the liquid has reduced a little.

Taste before serving and season if you need to with salt, black pepper and a little more vinegar. Drizzle with some good olive oil and serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley leaves.

I also like to finish with some roughly chopped toasted almonds.


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