Inspired by Sicily, cooked in your kitchen.

This recipe really sings when using locally produced seasonal food where all of the flavours have fully developed. Eating local foods in season offers an environmental bonus. The produce will have travelled less miles, it is less likely to be found in plastic packaging and will have needed fewer pesticides and inorganic fertilisers to grow.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 aubergines, large diced
  • 2 courgette, large diced
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • Bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped separate stalks and leaves
  • 4 tablespoons capers, chopped
  • 2 handful of green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 10 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • Pine nuts (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a high heat. Add your aubergine chunks, season with a little sea salt and toss around so the aubergine is evenly coated by the oil. Cook on a high heat for around 4 or 5 minutes, giving the pan a shake every now and then. (Depending on the size of your pan you may need to cook the aubergine in batches.)
  2. Do the same with the courgettes. Then leave both to rest on some kitchen paper.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium add the onion, garlic and parsley stalks, and 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.
  4. Throw in the drained capers and the olives, and drizzle over the red wine vinegar. When all the vinegar has evaporated, add the tomatoes and simmer for around 15 minutes or until tender.
  5. Taste before serving and season if you need to with salt, black pepper and a little more vinegar. Serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley leaves and pine nuts (or another nut or seed).

This recipe is by Mark Breen of Seasonal Kitchen.

Food Savvy tip: if you have some delicious but opened for a while dark chocolate you need to use, grating just a little bit in to a caponata can add a depth of richness.

Hard core want more:

Try our grilled mackerel and warm new potato salad with spring onions and spinach

check out our guide to eating seasonally