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A Lip-Smacking New Vegan Recipe from Dirty Vegan

Posted on 10th December 2019 by Mark Skinner

From Dirty Sanchez to plant-based gastronomy, Matt Pritchard has established himself as the coolest vegan cook on the planet, with his Dirty Vegan show becoming a must watch. To accompany season two, Dirty Vegan: Another Bite has just hit shops and, below, Matt takes you through a tantalising recipe for Caponata with Borlotti Beans.     

Caponata with Borlotti Beans

A Sicilian dish that exemplifies the Italian principle of agrodolce (literally ‘sour-sweet’). It is a stew of summer veg, not dissimilar to French ratatouille. The addition of beans isn’t traditional, but makes it feel more like a complete meal.

1 large aubergine,  cut into 2cm cubes

5 tablespoons olive oil,  plus extra if needed 

1 red onion, sliced 

3 celery sticks, finely chopped 

1 courgette, cut into 1cm cubes 

250g cherry tomatoes,  roughly chopped 

2 tablespoons tomato purée 

2 tablespoon capers in brine, drained 

60g pitted green olives,  halved 

40g sultanas 

2 tablespoons red wine  vinegar, or to taste 

1 teaspoon light brown sugar 

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped pinch of chilli flakes, or to taste 

400g can borlotti beans, drained 

100ml water 

leaves from 20g bunch of basil 

30g flaked almonds, toasted

salt and pepper

Lightly salt the aubergine and leave it to sit for 10 minutes. 

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a deep frying pan  or shallow casserole. Add the onion, celery and courgette and fry gently for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are starting to soften.

Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, capers, olives, sultanas, vinegar, sugar and garlic to the pan. Add the pinch of chilli flakes, season with salt and pepper, mix well and pop on  a lid. Leave over a gentle heat while you fry the aubergine.

Place a separate frying pan over a high heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the aubergine  for 4–5 minutes, until golden. You may need to do this  in batches, adding more oil if you do so. 

Add the aubergines and beans to the pan along with the measured water. Pop the lid back on and cook very gently for 20 minutes, until everything is tender.

Taste and tweak with some more salt, pepper, vinegar  and chilli to taste. Tear in the basil and serve with the almonds scattered over the top.

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