Preparation time: 20 minutes. Serves: 6
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 750 g (1 ½ lb) aubergines
- 1 large Spanish onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
- A little wine (optional)
- 2 large beef tomatoes, skinned and deseeded
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons capers
- A handful of pitted green olives
- 2 tablespoon wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Toasted, chopped almonds
- Chopped parsley
- Cut the aubergines and onions into 1 cm (½ inch) chunks.
- Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan until very hot, add the aubergines and fry for about 15 minutes until very soft. Add a little boiling water to prevent sticking if necessary.
- Meanwhile, place the onion and celery in a saucepan with a little water or wine. Cook for 5 minutes until tender but still firm.
- Add the tomatoes, thyme, cayenne pepper, aubergines and onions. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the capers, olives, wine vinegar, sugar, and cocoa powder (if using) and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with pepper and serve garnished with almonds and parsley.
- Serve hot or cold as a side dish, starter or main dish. Serve with polenta and hot crusty bread, if liked.
Aubergines can absorb a lot of fat when fried and therefore it is important to measure the amount of olive oil and not be tempted to add any more. Instead of using oil, you can sauté vegetables in wine, water or stock with tasty results.