Sicilian vegetable stew



I am increasingly turning to vegetables as the starting point of my menu planning and I am excited that my garden is flourishing so that I will soon be able to start picking the new crop of home-grown vegetables. At the weekend, I re-organised my overflowing recipe files and journals, as well as my library in preparation for summer and started a pulling out of my ‘must-do’ dishes. This Sicilian vegetable stew by Antonio Carluccio is one such dish and it ticks all my boxes as a Mediterranean staple – aubergine, tomatoes, capers, green olives, raisins and pine nuts – a combination of Italian, Arabic and French influences I love this dish and encourage you to give it a try. This recipe with serve 4-6.


Sicilian vegetable stew

800g aubergine

1 large onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks

1 tablespoon tomato purée, diluted with a little water

1 tablespoon caster sugar

1 tablespoon salted capers, soaked and drained

20 pitted green olives

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or verjuice)

Chopped leaves and stalks of 1 head of celery

1 tablespoon raisins

salt and pepepr

1 tablespoon pine kernals


Cut the vegetables into 3cm chunks, soak in cold water for 5 minutes, then drain. (This will stop the aubergine from absorbing too much oil).
Fry the onion in the olive oil in a large pan for a few minutes to soften, Put the aubergine chunks into the pan and fry until soft and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, diluted tomato purée. sugar, capers, olives, vinegar, celery leaves and stalks, raisins and some salt and pepper. Stew slowly until everything is metled together, about 30 minutes.
Stir in the pine nuts and serve either hold or warm as a side dish, or by itself with some warm sourdough bread or ciabatta.

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