Caponata with mozzarella

Serves 4-6

Caponata is delicious served as a sharing dish or you could try matching it up with mozzarella or creamy burrata.

For the caponata

2 medium aubergines, cut into rough 1cm cubes
Vegetable oil for frying
4-5 sticks of celery, any stringy stalks peeled, cut into rough 1cm pieces
4-5tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 x 225g can of chopped tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1tbsp caster sugar
75ml white wine vinegar
1tbsp grated dark chocolate, minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids
40g salted capers, rinsed in cold water
12 large green olives, stoned and quartered

To serve

200-250g burrata or mozzarella
A handful of Greek or normal basil, torn
A little extra virgin olive oil

First make the caponata: heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan until very hot and cook the aubergines in a couple of batches, stirring every so often, until they are golden; then remove with a slotted spoon and dry on kitchen paper. Fry the celery pieces in the oil left in the pan, or a little more if necessary, and dry on kitchen paper. Gently cook the onion in the olive oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the tomatoes, season and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the sugar and vinegar in a saucepan, add the chocolate, capers and olives and heat the mixture, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Add to the tomato mixture and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add the aubergines and celery to the sauce; continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Leave to cool to room temperature then transfer to a serving dish. Break the burrata on to the caponata or leave it whole, scatter the basil over and drizzle with a little olive oil.

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