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Caponatina (Aubergine Relish) RECIPE

This recipe was contributed by Shirley Cline.

Shirley was a great inspiration when I first started working on the idea of creating a recipe and cooking web site. Not only did she encourage me but she also supplied a great many recipes and other pieces which are featured throughout the site. Her great achievement was to teach me to cook risotto over the internet!

Although I never had the chance to meet Shirley, or even talk to her, I regarded her as a good friend. It was with great sadness that I learnt that she passed away in Autumn 2004 and that there would be no more emails. I think she will be sadly missed by a lot of people like me to whom she gave such pleasure with the sharing or her recipes. The pleasure my children have had from her recipe for Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint - not to mention the fights for seconds - has been a joy to behold.

Shirley said "This is to be scooped up with hearts of lettuce or chunks of bread. Hot andcool, sweet andtart, smooth and crunchy - it's all there in this dish. I acquired  this recipe from a friend. I've made it several times".


3 large aubergine
1 1/2 cups olive oil
3 cups minced onions
1/3 cup minced garlic
1 cup diced celery
2 cups peeled & seeded tomatoes in 1/2 inch chunks
3 Tblsp. capers
2/3 cup minced carrots
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 cups oil cured black olives
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper or more to taste
2/3 cup minced parsley
Additional olive oil for garnish
Additional minced parsley for garnish


Preheat oven to 375°F. Peel aubergines and cut into 1/2 inch dice. Oil a large baking sheet or roasting pan with 3 tblsp of olive oil. Toss aubergine with 3/4 cup of the olive oil to coat well, then transfer the aubergine to baking sheet or pan. Bake, tossing aubergine frequently until it is soft and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

While aubergine is baking, heat remaining oil in large skillet over moderate heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft, 7 - 10 minutes. Do not allow garlic to brown. Add celery, tomatoes, capers, carrot, pine nuts, olives, sugar, vinegar and cayenne. Simmer slowly for 30 minutes. Add salt to taste. Add aubergine and cook an additional 10 minutes. Add 2 / 3 cups of parsley and let cool. Taste again and correct seasoning. To serve transfer to a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with minced parsley.

Serves 12

Shirley Cline

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