I heart vegetables! I love nothing more than a simple bowl of roasted vegetables (especially when pumpkin or butternut squash feature) sprinkled with nutritional yeast, served with a dollop of tomato sauce and drizzled with tahini or creamy nut butter.
Of course vegetables feature quite heavily in most of my meals, whether it’s as a side, as a vital component, base or on occasion they become the main feature for super simple super (or in the case of this caponata a hearty midday meal!).
Caponata is probably one of the most satisfying vegetable based meals that comes to mind. Simple to prepare, a mixture of some of my favourite veggies, plenty of flavour, melt in the mouth deliciousness somewhere between the comfort provided by a soup and bowl of roasted veggies served up plain and simply..if that makes any sense!
I roasted some eggplant, butternut squash and red pepper before adding them to the base of celery, garlic, onion, passata… a little vegetable stock, brought to the boil, covered and allowed to simmer away until thick and rich. Fresh basil stirred threw, a little more for garnish and toasted pinenuts to finish it all off for the ultimate veggie lovers bowl of goodness.
I also stuck in some capers for a hit of saltiness. They add such an incredible flavour to the final dish. A splash or two of balsamic and tomato puree give it an incredible, dare I say irresistible richness.
All it needed was something to scoop it up on the side…no I don’t mean a fork! (actually I scooped the majority of it in to me with a big badass spoon!) Your bread of choice is a must; I went with my homemade spelt sandwich bread. A few mini yet thick slices for a little scooping, spreading and of course wiping the bowl clean.
Of course as is becoming pretty common, this could easily serve two or would make for a perfect side or starter to share; I devoured every last bit single handedly (quite literally as I munch my way through whilst perusing blogs during my lunch break in work )
There really is nothing comparable to the waft of fresh basil…an incredible tasty lunch and one which definitely needs to be repeated. Spread on toast, spooned on top of a bowl of pasta or quinoa…so many different ways to enjoy, I was just sorry I didn’t have leftovers!
What’s your favourite veggie based dish? [/donotprint]
Servings – 1
Preparation Time – 5 minutes
Cooking Time – 50 minutes
- 1/2 large eggplant diced
- 1/2 large red pepper diced
- 1 cup diced butternut squash
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 stalk of celery diced
- 1/2 small red onion diced
- 1-2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp capers
- 160ml (2/3 cup) Passata (sieved tomatoes)
- 1 heaped tsp tomato puree
- 60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable stock
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh basil roughly torn or chopped
- 1/2 tbsp toasted pinenuts
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Coat red pepper, eggplant and squash with half of olive oil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, turning at least once.
- Meanwhile add garlic, onion and celery along with the rest of the olive oil to a pan and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add in capers, tomato puree, Passata, vegetable stock, and maple syrup. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and add in cooked vegetables.
- Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season with black pepper.
- Stir threw 1/2 of fresh basil and serve topped with remaining and toasted pinenuts sprinkled on top.