My version of the Italian caponata, made effortlessly in the slow cooker. Aubergines (eggplant), spices and a bit of sweet and sour make this into a flavourful chunky chutney-like spread.
Aubergines, or eggplants as they are called on the other side of the pond, are at their best at the moment. They are used a lot in Greek cooking, especially for summer dishes like briam or moussaka. The other day I found myself with a huge quantity after our neighbour shared some of his substantial bounty. He could have fed the entire neighbourhood, I tell you. Anyway, they were too good to waste so I did a bit of research into what I could make. I decided on something I could spread over bread, which is the sort of thing I always like to have in the fridge. You know, in case I suddenly need to eat a cracker with cheese. You’ve got to have something to go with that, don’t you?
Well, it turns out that this goes with several other things as well. It can be eaten warm or cold, with bread, toast, crostini, rusks; with white cheeses like ricotta or feta, in a pasta salad, as a topping for pizza with some fresh mozzarella, or even with fried or scrambled eggs. Mrs D. (that’s my mum) who was the official taste tester for this recipe, said she really enjoyed it with smoked turkey slices. So, sandwich filler is another idea.
But the best thing about this caponata is how easy it is to make. Throw the aubergine, some raisins and pine nuts, some spices, a bit of sweet and a bit of sour in the slow cooker and find something else to do for a few hours. Then enjoy in any of the above ways, or let your imagination run wild and come up with a new idea. Then come back and let us know about it!