Food & Drink: READER RECIPE / Strong Sicilian tastes

THE showy business of cookery competitions behind us, we resume the rather more humble reader recipe series. Its summer topic, Italian cooking in the British kitchen, has only improved with the weather.

The following recipe, from Patricia Clark of Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, is for caponata. She discovered this Sicilian dish when reading Elizabeth David's Italian Food. She will receive a bottle of 1990 Cepparello from Isole e Olena, which we buy from the Italian specialists, Winecellars of south London.

Caponata

Serves 6 as starter

Ingredients: 4 medium aubergines

1 large onion

4tbs olive oil

4fl oz (115ml) tomato puree

2tbs sugar

6-8tbs red or white wine vinegar

1 head celery

8 anchovy fillets, chopped

4oz (115g) black olives, halved and pipped

2 heaped tbs capers, rinsed

2 heaped tbs chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

1 standard tin tuna, drained

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation: Slice aubergines, salt the slices thoroughly, and layer them in a colander to drain for at least 1 hour. This will purge the harsh-tasting juices. Pat dry with clean cloth, then chop the aubergine into dice-sized cubes. Heat 2tbs olive oil in large cast- iron frying pan until a hot haze rises above the pan; tilt the pan so it is well coated. Reduce heat and fry aubergine until soft. Reserve.

Wash, chop and blanch celery in salted boiling water. Reserve.

Peel and slice onion. Prepare frying pan with oil (see above) and add onion. Reduce heat and cook, tossing onions until they are tender and translucent, not burnt (about 10 min). This will release their natural sugars. Add tomato puree and sugar.

Cook 30 seconds; add vinegar. Simmer briefly, (about 5 min), then add chopped anchovies, celery, olives, capers, parsley, tuna and fried aubergine.

Continue cooking for a minute or two, and mix well. Allow to mature for several hours in a serving dish. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve at room temperature with hot toast and green salad.

NEXT week we will have more Italian recipes. New entries, including any for our next category, cool dishes for hot days, are welcome. Please specify the source and send them to: Emily Green, Recipe, Weekend Features, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

Those whose recipes we print will receive either the Cepparello or, for summer food, a bottle of Sancerre Rose Les Romaines 1992 Vacheron, an elegant Loire wine made from pinot noir grapes and supplied by Reid Wines of Hallatrow, near Bristol.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project