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roasted aubergine & green olive caponata

Leo came home from work one day singing the praises of the caponata dish he had for lunch from a local deli, so we decided we had to make the ultimate version for Bitter Lemon. It's a great summery stew to make when you're in the mood for something fresh and full of flavour - I like to make sure we use big juicy green olives. If you try this yourself at home, I promise you won't be disappointed. We like to serve this with a simple rocket salad and slices of focaccia bread which you can either buy fresh or make at home yourself.

Serves 4 & takes 35 minutes to cook


  • 2 large aubergines, cut into small pieces no larger than 1cm

  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced

  • 2 sticks of celery, diced

  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced

  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary

  • 1 tablespoon of harissa paste

  • 100g green olives

  • Handful of toasted pine nuts

  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

  • 1x 400g can of tinned tomatoes

  • Pinch of salt

  • Olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 190C, fan setting.

2. Place the aubergine chunks onto a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Mix well and cook for 30 minutes until they feel soft.

3. While the aubergines cook, place a large deep pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Once the oil is warm, add the diced onion, celery and a pinch of salt. Mix well and cook for 5-10 minutes until soft.

4. Once the onions feel soft, mix through the dried rosemary, cherry tomatoes and red peppers. Mix well and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes completely break down and become almost liquidy.

5. At this point, mix through the harissa paste, green olives, pine nuts, roasted aubergine, tinned tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.

6. Cook for a further 10 minutes until everything is piping hot and cooked through. Taste and season before serving.


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