Jamie's Italy, Penguin Group
A robust tasting dish from Sicily that clearly shows the Arab influence that is common in food from the region. Can be eaten as an antipasto at room temperature or hot with grilled or roast lamb. Eggplant has a tendency to absorb a lot of oil, so sprinkle the oil over the eggplant in a bowl rather than add it to the pan. Franchi's EGGPLANT prosperosa or tonda bianca sfumata di rosa have white flesh, few seeds and a wonderful taste and texture and are ideal for this dish.
2 large eggplants washed and cut into 2cm chunks
1 heaped tsp dried oregano
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small bunch Italian parsley, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
2 Tbsp salted capers, rinsed, soaked and drained
About 8 green olives, stones removed, chopped
2-3 Tbsp good vinegar
5 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp dry fried almond flakes, optional
Sprinkle about 4-5 Tbsp oil over the chopped eggplant and toss to distribute. Cook in a frying pan on high heat, tossing for about 5 minutes until browned. You may need to do this in batches. Add the onion, garlic, parsley stalks and oregano and continue cooking for several minutes adding a bit more oil if necessary. Add the drained capers, olives and the vinegar and cook, stirring until the vinegar has evaporated and then add the tomatoes. Simmer for about 15 minutes and taste for seasoning. The capers and olives can be salty so take care. Serve with the chopped parsley leaves and almonds if using.
Cooked at the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo 2011