Summer caponata and crispy polenta

Serves four


  • For the crispy polenta
  • 125g fine polenta
  • 600 ml water 
  • 10g salt
  • 50ml rapeseed oil

For the caponata

  • 2 aubergines, stalk removed
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded
  • 2 courgettes, trimmed
  • 5g salt
  • 50ml rapeseed oil 
  • 125g passata

For the agrodolce

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 15ml olive oil
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 25g golden raisins 
  • 1 tsp golden caster 
  • salt

To finish

  • 50g almonds, roasted and crushed
  • 20g parsley, finely chopped
  • 10g mint, finely chopped 


For the polenta

Bring the water to boil in a large pot and slowly pour in the polenta, whisking as you go. Turn the heat down to a simmer and pour in the oil and salt. Stirring constantly, cook the polenta for 20 minutes and then pour into a lined baking tray, at least 2cm deep, and leave to cool. When cold, put into the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220Oc. Remove the polenta from the dish and cut into wedges and roast in the oven until golden crisp with slightly charred edges.

For the agrodolce

Warm the oil in a deep sided pan and gently sweat the sliced onion for at least ten minutes until soft and lightly caramelised. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, stir to combine and simmer for another 5 mins. Cool and rest in  fridge for a few hours.

For the caponata

Wash and trim the vegetables and slice into 4m strips lengthways and place skin down onto separate baking trays. Sprinkle the salt into the flesh of the vegetables and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 240Oc.

Divide the oil equally between the three roasting trays and roast the vegetables until charred and tender. When cool enough to handle, cut into bite sized pieces, and gently stir in the passata and agrodolce onions. Caponata is best served at room temperature and even better after a rest in the fridge overnight for the intriguing sweet and sour flavours to mature and mingle. When ready to serve, bring back to room temperature and sprinkle over the almonds and chopped herbs and serve with a couple of slices of crispy polenta.