Beautiful day today. Just one of those magical days you wish would never end. Sitting her now at 6 p.m., Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli on the stereo, having a glass of merlot, beautiful breeze coming through the open windows, getting ready to call my daughter and granddaughter.
Puttered about the flat for a while, then decided what I wanted to eat for the week and set about making my list and heading off to the shops.
Started off with putting a whole chicken in the oven (I tuck rosemary sprigs under the skin, also a few cloves of garlic, drizzle it with olive oil, add some sea salt and a grind of pepper, and roast it. There's no better smell in the house.
From there, I moved on to another pot of caponata. Have it as a relish, or on bruschetta; warm, cold, or room temp.
Peel/chunk 3 medium size eggplants (aubergines); sprinkle with 2 t. salt, then let drain for an hour.
Meantime, chop 3 sweet onions, 4 stalks of celery, 1 lb. of fresh tomatoes (and set to drain), 1 c. cured green olives; mince 3 cloves garlic; measure out 3 T. capers; combine 2 T. sugar with 1/4 c. red wine vinegar and let stand; grind up a t. of black pepper. You'll also need a couple of sprigs of fresh basil and up to 1/2 c. olive oil.
After eggplant is drained, saute it in a heavy kettle (use as much oil as necessary -- it sticks easily) until soft and browned on all sides (10-15 minutes).
Remove eggplant from pan, and using same oil, saute onions, garlic and celery until all are soft.
Return eggplant to pot with onion mixture, and add all remaining ingredients (except basil), and simmer about 30 minutes.
Remove from heat, add a dozen torn basil leaves, stir. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate.