See you tomorrow! x
Theresa. She’s a food hunter. She knows what she wants and nothing will stop this girl from finding it. She grabbed her utensils, trudged doggedly through, erm (counting)..1..2..3..well, ALOT of many States, from East to West in her quest to feed the hungry that arrive famished at her door…well,..website. The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine This where she shares her knowledge of everything (well…almost) food. She’s passionate about good local ingredients and loves to cook. This month she was picked from the bunch to be my secret source of sustenance for (drum roll) this months Secret Recipe Club.
If you don’t already know, SRC is a monthly club for international foodies. It fun, fantabulous and free to take part. It’s like a random recipe generator. Nudging you out of your comfort zone and midweek meal melay. I dug and delved and discovered… Caponata. A Sicilian dish overflowing with garden vegetables. Caponata Melanzane (eggplant) (aubergine)..
I set out from the start to simplify the way it was made, and then I complicated it (just a little bit) and I think it was worth it. I decided to stack it. Stack it real good.
Serves 2-3 If you are going to create the stack and make the polenta sheets then scroll down and prep the polenta first. You can then carry out the other steps whilst it bakes.
1 large aubergine/eggplant (about 4 cups) – 2cm dice
4 celery stalks (1 1/2 cup) sliced 2 cm on a diagonal
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup olives (chop half of them in half and keep rest whole)
1/4 cup capers
2 skinned tomatoes
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp xylitol, fruit sugar if like me, you prefer sugar free, if not a concern then use sugar…actually, you could probably do without any ‘sweetning’ altogether
1/2 tsp harissa paste (optional..I LOVED the subtle kick)
1 tbs fresh chopped parsley
7 large basil leaves, torn
*some Sicilian recipes add sliced almonds and a shake of cinnamon. Perhaps I will next time.
‘This is how we do it’…
1.grab two pans
2. in one pan, saute in 1 tbs olive oil, the sliced onions with the harissa if you are using (put the lid on top as this helps them to soften and caramelise, rather than burn) will take about 7-10mins
3. grab pan number two and in 1 tbs oil, fry the diced aubergine. Theresa’s recipe suggested the whole ‘sprinkle with salt and leave’ shenanigans for the aubergine, but I have not found it necessary and if I can make life easier I will. Fry until turning golden.
4.remove the onions from their pan and set aside. Saute the celery, adding a little more oil if necessary, until edges start to brown.
5.add the skinned chopped tomatoes and vinegar and simmer for 5 mins
6.add the remaining ingredients (retain a few basil leaves for garnish) and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
7.use the polenta sheets to create the stack, tear the basil leaves and mix into the caponata then spoon it between the garlicky polenta. Serve.
For the Polenta sheets
1 cup polenta
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
preheat oven to 220/400. Prepare an oiled baking tray 10inch by 5 inch
1. slowly pour the polenta into boiling water whilst stirring and add the seasonings and continue to stir until it boils. Reduce heat to a simmer, continue to stir until it thickens.
2.bake for 20 mins. Remove from the oven and score with a knife into 6 equal squares. Pop back into oven for further 10 mins.