Charred aubergines with caponata dressing

Charred aubergines with caponata dressing

Inspired by Sicilian caponata, this summer side dish is brought to life with a vibrant sweet-and-sour dressing spiked with capers, olives and raisins. Like caponata, it’s best left to marinate for a few hours to allow those flavours to meld. Mozzarella optional but advised!

Charred aubergines with caponata dressing

Browse more brilliant barbecue sides.

  • Serves icon Serves 4-6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, plus marinating

Inspired by Sicilian caponata, this summer side dish is brought to life with a vibrant sweet-and-sour dressing spiked with capers, olives and raisins. Like caponata, it’s best left to marinate for a few hours to allow those flavours to meld. Mozzarella optional but advised!

Browse more brilliant barbecue sides.

Nutrition: Per serving (for 6)

Calories
80kcals
Fat
4.2g (0.6g saturated)
Protein
1g
Carbohydrates
8.8g (8.7g sugars)
Fibre
1.5g
Salt
0.5g

Before you start

You can make this well ahead of time – the flavour gets better and better the longer it marinates. Come serving time, take it out of the fridge, allow it to come to room temperature, then sprinkle over some toasted nuts. We’ve used pine nuts, but flaked almonds are also popular in Sicilian cooking.

Before you start

You can make this well ahead of time – the flavour gets better and better the longer it marinates. Come serving time, take it out of the fridge, allow it to come to room temperature, then sprinkle over some toasted nuts. We’ve used pine nuts, but flaked almonds are also popular in Sicilian cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 large aubergine
  • 1 large courgette
  • Dash vegetable oil
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 20g raisins
  • 40g pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 2 fresh mint sprigs, leaves finely chopped (reserve smaller leaves to garnish)
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • 1 ball mozzarella or burrata (optional)
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan
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Method

  1. Cut the aubergine and courgette into slices just under 1cm thick, then char in a large frying pan or griddle pan with a dash of oil for about 1 minute on each side. For extra smokiness, you could char the veg on the barbecue. Set aside in a bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Put the vinegar, sugar and raisins in a small pan over a medium heat, bubble until the liquid has reduced by half, then leave to cool. Add the olives and capers to the pan with the oil, dried oregano and chopped mint. Taste and season with salt and pepper, adding a squeeze of lemon juice. Pour the dressing over the charred vegetables, toss to thoroughly coat, then transfer to a serving plate or platter – this not only looks attractive but also makes sure the dressing covers most of the vegetables. Put in the fridge to marinate, ideally overnight or while you’re firing up the barbecue.
  3. To serve, take the vegetables out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature. Tear over the mozzarella/burrata (if using), then garnish with the pine nuts and reserved mint.

Nutrition

Nutrition: per serving
Calories
80kcals
Fat
4.2g (0.6g saturated)
Protein
1g
Carbohydrates
8.8g (8.7g sugars)
Fibre
1.5g
Salt
0.5g

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