This recipe makes me think of summer time. Mum would cook this caponata whenever we would go to the beach, as it doesn’t need to be refrigerated and uses up all of the summer garden’s bounty of vegetables. She would simply spoon it into crusty bread rolls and we would devour them with utter contentment. Caponata was also always what Mum cooked with fish. Onions, tomatoes and capsicums cooked down til beautifully sweet, then finished off with tangy capers and olives. Mum would always fry our fish in olive oil, but I love it baked on top because I can cook a larger batch perfectly even, and all at the same time. Plus it’s super healthy and the texture of the fish is so delicate. Thanks for the inspiration, ma! x
PREP 15 MIN
COOK 40 MIN
What you’ll need:
¼ cup olive oil
2 red onions, halved & thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 large red capsicums, sliced lengthways
1kg tomatoes, diced
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp caster sugar
100g pitted Kalamata olives
2 tbs capers in brine, drained
4 x skinless snapper fillets
2 sprigs fresh basil, leaves picked, to serve
extra virgin olive oil, to serve
sea salt & black pepper
What to do:
Preheat oven to 180°C Fan.
Heat oil in a flameproof casserole over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add garlic and cook for a further 1 minute until fragrant. Add capsicum and cook for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a low simmer. Cover and cook gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have collapsed and the sauce has thickened.
Transfer caponata to a 30cm x 20cm roasting tin. Place snapper fillets over the top and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, or until fish is just cooked. Scatter with olives, capers and top with fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.