Si­cil­ian caponata filo pie

Country Life Every Week - - Aubergine -

Serves 4


2 chopped aubergines 2tspn dried oregano 2 chopped red onions 2 crushed gar­lic cloves 1 chopped stick cel­ery A hand­ful fresh torn basil 1 can to­ma­toes 50g toasted pine nuts 50g ca­pers 2tb­spn red-wine vine­gar Zest of 1 le­mon, plus a lit­tle

juice 6 sheets filo pas­try 50g melted but­ter

Fresh rocket to serve


Pre­heat your oven to 200˚C/400˚f/gas mark 6. Ar­range the chunks of aubergine on a bak­ing tray with a driz­zle of olive oil and a scat­ter­ing of oregano, then roast for about 25 min­utes or un­til com­pletely cooked—i find that roast­ing pre­vents the aubergine from be­com­ing greasy.

In a large saucepan, fry the red onions in a splash of olive oil un­til soft. Stir in the gar­lic, cel­ery, basil and to­ma­toes and sim­mer gently for about 5 min­utes.

Once cooked, add the aubergine to the pan with the toasted pine nuts, ca­pers and red-wine vine­gar and mix well (it’s the vine­gar that gives a caponata its dis­tinc­tive, sweet-and-sour flavour). Fi­nally, add the le­mon zest and a lit­tle juice to taste, plus a splash of wa­ter to loosen ev­ery­thing if needed.

Spoon the caponata into an oven­proof dish—or di­vide be­tween in­di­vid­ual dishes—and top with scrunched-up sheets of but­tered filo pas­try, en­sur­ing that the sur­face of the pie is en­tirely cov­ered. Bake in the oven for about 30 min­utes—the filo should be lightly browned. Serve the caponata pie with fresh rocket and a glass of Chi­anti.

‘ The aubergines in my green­house are now small but per­fectly formed, with glossy, pur­ple skins. In Si­cily, they’re called “poor man’s steak” and are, in­deed, a fit­ting sub­sti­tute for meat in these recipes’

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