Recipes from the Road

Food from Kitchens around the World

Recipes collected and inspired from different corners of the world. Cooking is not just about sustenance – it is a journey and an art. Every corner of the globe has its own cuisine, reflecting the local produce sold at the many street and farmers markets. From biggest cities to the smallest villages, they are full of tastes, smells and colours. Once you become comfortable in the kitchen and with the ingredients you pick up, you can give you creativity a free run and make a cuisine of your own.

Recipe of the Day

Caponata is a Sicilian eggplant stew that can be served hot or cold on its own, as a side dish, on bruscetta, or as a relish. Other vegetables such as zucchini can also be used. The tasty combination of eggplant and onion blends deliciously with the sweetness of sultanas and tangy hint of vinegar – topped with crunchy nuttiness of roasted pine nuts.

SICILIAN CAPONATA

Ingredients:
1 big eggplant, cut in 2cm cubes (alternatively, use zucchinis) 1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 fennel, thinly sliced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 red capsicum, cut in 2cm pieces
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
350ml vegetable stock
¼ cup salted capers, rinsed ¼ cup pitted green, Sicilian olives
¼ cup balsamic vinegar ¼ cup sultantas
1tsp caster sugar to taste ¼ cup chopped flatleaf parsley ¼ chopped basil leaves ½ cup pine nuts
Utensils: cutting board; vegetable knife; small bowl; mezzaluna knife and board; large frypan; stirring spoon; fine grater; oven tray.
Time: 30 minutes

Preparation:

  1. Heat two tablespoons oil in frypan on medium-low heat. Add onion and fennel and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes until slightly softened. Add remaining oil and the eggplant (or zucchini) and cook for 5-8 minutes, tossing constantly, until the eggplant is glossy, not dry.
  2. Add capsicum, tomatoes and grate on the garlic. Pour in the stock and cook for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is just passed al dente.
  3. While the mixture is simmering, heat oven to 180°C. Sprinkle the pine nuts on an oven tray and roast until coloured – about five minutes.
  4. Add capers, olives, vinegar, sultanas, sugar and some sea salt and pepper to the vegetable mixture. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until the caponata resembles a thick stew.
  5. Stir through the herbs and serve hot, warm or at room temperature on bruscetta or with chargrilled bread and pine nuts sprinkled on top. Caponata is also delicious served as side dish with chicken or pork.