Sunday, March 29, 2009

CANAZZU


I came across this in Matthew Fort's Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons . The Sicilian friends I asked about it had not heard of it so I looked it up and, as I suspected, it is described as a basic kind of caponata, though this version contains no sugar or vinegar - or capers, for that matter.

Naturally, I adapted Fort's recipe a little: Firstly, instead of using aubergines I used the bases of biete da taglio but only because I had them in the fridge. You clean them as you would a leek [well, that's what I did] and cut them into bite-sized pieces. When cooked they have the texture of softened celery and a mild, pleasant taste which balances well with the zingy flavour of the peppers. A Sicilian would be horrified as I will not peel potatoes, as most of you know. The one British food maxim that I have stubbornly imported is, "most of the goodness is in their skins". I'll confess that I didn't bother peeling and seeding the tomato either, but I would have had there been company! Fort tells you to use 200 ml olive oil but I find ml measurements a nuisance where oil is concerned. I say, bung in 3 tblesp of the stuff and hope for the best! And I would suggest using half the amount of vegetable stock given in his recipe. Anyway, it is a triumph! Like caponata, this can be eaten at room temperature or cold.

All you do is chop a large, white onion and soften it in the oil, then add 2 aubergines or 2 biete da taglio bases, cut into chunks, and stir it all around a bit. Then add 1 or 2 sliced tomatoes, 3 - 4 large potatoes, cut into chunks, and 2 sliced peppers of whatever colour you like. Stir it all around for a few minutes, then chuck in a glass [when I say "a glass", I always mean a large one!] of white wine and let it bubble up for a minute or 2. Add about 200 ml vegetable stock [yes, a cube is fine] season with coarse seasalt [please!] and freshly ground black pepper, throw in some torn leaves of basil, plonk the lid on and cook for 25 mins over a low flame. Add some more basil to serve.

9 comments:

annechung said...

Because of you, I read Matthew Fort's book, liked it, reminds me of my 2 trips to Sicily. Now I know why I can't find those sweet Sicilian tomatoes in Sicily, they're exported to restaurants in Milan.We had some really sweet tomatoes in Alberobello in Puglia, we thought we could get some in Sicily.

jams o donnell said...

More deliciousness... I must sound like a broken record but I assure you I am drooling over my keyboard!

CherryPie said...

Your version sounds nicer, I am not to fond of aubergines!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Anne. I'm pleased that you liked the book and that it brought back good memories. We do get the sweet tomatoes down here. Thanks, jams. That's reassuring to know! Hi, Cherie. I like aubergines, especially the smell of them when being cooked.

kissa said...

Yum. I too don't peel any vegetables unless the skins are really manky and I mean really, very scabby. I love aubegines but unfortunately they don't love me and I still keep eating them and then suffer.Will I ever learn they are so delicious mmm...?!

James Higham said...

That reminded me that I didn't have any lunch. Could you send some of this over?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Kissa. I think an aubergine allergy is quite a common one. Glad you don't peel the potatoes either! Coming over, James.

Abbey said...

Mmmm now that looks doable...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It's very easy, Abbey.

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