Caponata is a lovely, piquant dish of stewed Mediterranean vegetables, it is a textbook example of the intense sweet and sour agrodolce flavours typical of the seafood loving island. 

Like many dishes, caponata tastes much better at room temperature – or barely warm – rather than hot from the oven. If you can leave it to mellow for a few hours, so much the better.

It pairs wonderfully with a seriously meaty monkfish tail, making a fabulous feast for really, any time of year. 


  • For the Caponata

  • 250g
  • 100ml
    Agrodolce vinegar
  • 100ml
    Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 25g
    Sultanas (soaked for 10 minutes in hot water to soften and plump up)
  • 25g
    Toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon
    Chilli flakes
  • 1
    Courgette, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1
    Fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1
    Red onion, sliced
  • 1
    Stick of celery, sliced on the angle
  • 1
    Red pepper, deseeded, and cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1
    Small aubergine, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 2
    Cloves of garlic, chopped
  • A small bunch
    Basil, roughly torn
  • For the Monkfish

  • 2
    Monkfish tails
  • A drizzle
    Olive Oil
  • A pinch
    Sea salt


  • To make the Caponata

    The caponata is best made a few hours ahead of when its needed as it tastes better after a little time.

    In a large bowl put the passata, vinegar, olive oil, pinenuts, sultanas and chilli flakes, mix well to combine and season with a little salt.

    Heat a little olive oil in a frying and cook the onions, red pepper and garlic with a pinch of salt until softened, then add to the tomato sauce. Repeat this process for the aubregine, courgette, fennel and celery.

    Stir well and taste to see if any further seasoning is required, then set to one side while you prepare the monkfish.

  • To cook the monkfish

    Light your barbecue, once the coals have turned grey you are ready to cook. 

    Rub monkfish tails with a thin coating of olive oil and season with a good pinch of sea salt. Place the fish onto the heated bars over the fire and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side. 

    Remove the fish from the fire and place onto a chopping board. Slice the fish from the bone. 

  • To serve

    Warm the caponata gently to just above room temperature.

    Take a good handful of torn basil and scatter over the capnata. Place a dollop of caponata on the plate and lay over a peice of the monkfish, finish with a drizzle of olive oil. 

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