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 Smile )

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]

Sicilian Caponata


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season with black pepper.
  4. Stir threw 1/2 of fresh basil and serve topped with remaining and toasted pinenuts sprinkled on top.

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  1. I’m SO making this when I return to my flat next week.
    Such a tough question as – just like you – most of my meals are filled with veggies. I’ve been liking veggie-based casseroles with a crunchy topping (popped amaranth is a fun alternative to breadcrumbs!) lately. Ratatouille is a no-brainer – deeeelish.

  2. i had caponata for lunch today and it was delicious! totally agree with u that it is one of the mst hearty and satisfying veggie dishes! i love the pine nuts and basil toppinG! such a winner