Spring Vegetable Caponata

This is a top-notch relish without the price tag because all the vegetables are now in season.  Caponata is an Italian condiment with infinite variations, so I thought I’d give it a local tweak with vegetables in season here.  Can be served as part of a vegan Ploughman’s lunch, or an accompaniment to a sandwich, or a side dish at dinner, or as part of a buffet.  It’s an obliging little dish which you can take anywhere!

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Ingredients

3 tbs olive oil

2 medium onions

100g garlic stuffed olives, sliced

1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes

2 tbs cider vinegar

200g baby courgettes, cut into 2 cm baton

200g baby aubergines, diced

2 tbs light brown sugar

zest and juice of an orange

salt and pepper to taste

25-30g fresh basil

Method

  1. Fry the onions for the caponata in the oil until translucent (5-8 minutes).  Stir in the olives, tomatoes, baby courgettes, baby aubergines, zest of the orange and the sugar whipped into the orange juice. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Take it off the heat.
  2. Chop the larger leaves of the basil and stir into the mixture, then when you have decanted the caponata into a pretty bowl, garnish with the smaller leaves.  This is best served a room temperature, so if you want to make it in advance take it out of the fridge half an hour before serving, and garnish with the little leaves at the last minute.

Tesco have brown sugar and basil on special at the moment, so if you can access one, this will cost £7.52 if you do not have cider vinegar in the house.  As always, this factors in all ingredients except the oil.  I was wondering, do you have websites which search supermarkets’ prices where you are living?  They’re so useful if you are on a budget.  I use mySupermarket here – do you have something similar?

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