THE LONDON COOKBOOK, page 15
· Serves 6 ·
Ingredients for the Caponata:
· 1 large aubergine, chopped
· salt to your taste
· 6 tablespoons olive oil
· 6 sticks celery, chopped
· 1 onion, chopped
· 400 gr (14 oz) can tomatoes or
450 gr (1 font) tomatoes, skinned and chopped
· 2 tablespoons caster sugar
· 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
· 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
· 1 teaspoon capers, rinsed
· 12 black olives pitted and roughly chopped
· 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Ingredients for the dressing:
· 150 ml (1/4 pint) olive oil
· zest of 1 lemon
· 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
· 6 basil leaves shredded
· freshly milled pepper and salt
· 3 large ripe avocado pears
· 175 gr (6 oz) feta cheese, cut into 6 slices
· Fresh basil leaves, to garnish
1. To make the caponata put the aubergine in a colander, sprinkle with salt and set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Press gently to extract as much water as possible, and then dry on kitchen paper or a clean tea towel.
2. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Sauté the celery until brown. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside. Fry the aubergine in the same oil, until browned and tender, adding a little extra oil if necessary. Set aside to cool.
3. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and sauté the onion until golden. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes until thick, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar, vinegar and nutmeg and cook for a further 10 minutes, until you have a rich sweet and sour sauce, stirring occasionally. Add a little salt and plenty of pepper.
4. Stir in the capers, olives, parsley, aubergine and celery. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then set aside to cool.
5. To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together and season.
6. To finish the dish cut the avocados in half and remove the stones. Brush the flesh with a little dressing to stop discoloration. Carefully fill each hollow with caponata, top with a slice of feta cheese and then pour over the remaining dressing.
7. Garnish with a basil leaf. Serve with couscous salad and crusty bread.
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