World Cuisine

  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz) olive oil
  • 2 aubergines, cut into 3.5 cm (1½ inch) cubes
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, sliced
  • 50 g (2 oz) pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 400 g (13 oz) can plum tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers in brine, rinsed
  • 50 g (2 oz) pitted green olives
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 6 basil leaves
  • salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the aubergines, in batches, and cook, stirring frequently, for 5–6 minutes until they are golden and tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl.

Pour away all but 2 tablespoons oil from the pan. Add the onion, celery and pine nuts and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened and lightly golden. Return the aubergines to the pan and stir in the remaining ingredients, except for the basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring the pan to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the basil. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavours to mingle. Serve warm or cold, as an antipasto, side dish or as a vegetarian main course, with some bread on the side.

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