Meat Free Monday – Caponata an Italian Classic

Having a look around my fridge, I have several vegetables to use up, Aubergine, Mushrooms, Bell Peppers etc so now – what do we fancy, Indian, Middle Eastern- no Italian – Caponata to be precise, an Aubergine based vegetarian ‘stew’


One thing I love about Aldi is the quality of their Veg- it is great, and lasts ages – however, no idea why their Aubergines are individually wrapped! Waste of plastic in my view….

There are a thousand recipes to go to, but I have based it on This one (as a guide) Yotam Ottolenghi is one of my food gods, so if it’s good enough for him…… with a few alterations to suit what we have in.


To start, I cut an Aubergine into cubes


gently fry off in some olive oil till browned


Cut a medium onion into chunks, ditto a yellow pepper and some field mushrooms, fry these off till softened, add sliced celery, a couple of chopped garlic cloves


season well and add 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and stir through.


Add a half A dozen small tomatoes, half a jar of olives (I have used black, as it’s what I have in) a tablespoon of capers, A good squidge of tomato purée.


Stir though and simmer for 10 minutes or so. I have added a splash of balsamic and a splash of water to create a sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning, you may need to add a teaspoon of sugar if too tart, the juice of half a lemon will freshen it up, some chopped basil leaves a dusting of Parmesan – whatever makes it taste good for you.


Traditionally, you would leave this to cool to room temperature, but I am steaming some Cous Cous with Veg stock.


To plate up a little Cous Cous and a tumble of the Caponata- simple but delicious 😋

Author: emptynestfulltum

Hi - I'm a 49 yo Mum to 3 kids - Jordan (23), Grace (21) and Max (19). And Wife to my lovely Husband, Dave and step mum to 4 fur babies, our cats Eric, Ernie, Cilla and Bobbie. We live on the beautiful Isle of Wight, Hubby and I were born here, and just love our home. As I hurtle towards 50, my life as a full time (working) parent is coming to an end, with my eldest 2 kids living their own lives, and my youngest who started University in September. I realised that this is not a time to be sad, but a time to take time to spend time on some of the things I enjoy doing - mainly cooking, crafting and creating Pinterest boards for said thing s :) This blog is just a way for me to record the next stages of our lives - I hope you enjoy my ramblings...

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