I thought I should start the New Year as I intend to go on, after too long a gap, by sharing this recipe, which has already become a keeper. Here’s to enjoying more delicious food in 2020…
I have always liked caponata, so when I spotted a recipe by Anna Jones for a winter version made with roast squash I immediately tore it out of the Guardian Feast section to try. It was so delicious that I made it on repeat at home, and then again when I went to stay with my vegan brother. It is blissfully easy to make, and can be eaten as a vegan main course, with a salad and good bread, as a starter or side dish.
I think the flavours are best when it is eaten warm or at room temperature, but it is good hot from the oven too. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days and is also really easy to scale up and down, whether to make enough for a crowd or just use up that piece of squash that has been lurking in your veg drawer.
- 2 tins plum tomatoes
- 1.1kg squash (or pumpkin)
- 3 medium red onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 tbsp basalmic vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 50g black olives
- 3 tbsp capers
- 50g raisins
- 20g parsley
Heat the oven to 240° C/220° C Fan/Gas 9. Peel and deseed the squash, and chop it into roughly 2cm chunks. Peel the onions and cut each into six pieces. Peel the garlic cloves and squash them with the side of a knife.
Empty the tinned tomatoes into a large baking tray, breaking them up with a spoon or your hands (you can use tins of chopped tomatoes if you prefer, though you lose a bit of texture). I still use my mother’s sturdy roasting pan for this sort of dish. Add all the prepped vegetables, then drizzle over 3 tbsp each of basalmic vinegar and olive oil and grind over some salt and pepper. Put into the oven and roast for 35 minutes.
While it is cooking pick off the leaves of the parsley – they are part of the salad, rather than a garnish, so don’t stint or chop them. When all the roasted vegetables are soft and starting to char at the edges add the olives, capers and raisins, mix well and return the pan to the oven for 15 minutes.
When the caponata comes out of the oven stir through the remaining 1 tbsp of vinegar and the parsley leaves. Either serve straight away or leave to cool a little. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Happy New Year!