4 (240gm each)blue mackerel cutlets2 tbspolive oil20 gmbutter2cloves of garlic, finely chopped½Spanish onion, cut into wedges500 ml (2 cups)passata60 ml (¼ cup)aged red wine vinegar1 tbspgolden raisins (see note)1 tbspsalted capers, rinsed and drained1 cupBella dí Cerígnola olives (see note)4bay leaves1 tbspcaster sugar2 tspmarjoram leaves2inner stalks of celery, thinly sliced widthways, blanched and refreshed in iced waterFor shallow-frying:vegetable oil1large eggplant, very thinly sliced widthways1 tbsppine nuts, toasted1 tbspextra-virgin olive oil, for drizzlingTo serve:blanched flat and green beans
Season mackerel to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add butter and when foaming add mackerel and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until just cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. Add remaining olive oil, garlic and onion to pan and cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes or until just soft, then add passata, vinegar, raisins, capers, olives, bay leaves and sugar and cook for 5 minutes or until reduced by two-thirds. Add marjoram, celery and mackerel and cook for 1 minute to warm through and season to taste.
Meanwhile, heat enough vegetable oil in a separate frying pan over medium-high heat until oil starts to shimmer. Cook eggplant, in batches, turning occasionally, for 3-5 minutes or until golden. Drain on absorbent paper.
To serve, divide mackerel caponata between plates, top with eggplant, scatter with pine nuts, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve with beans to the side.
Note Golden raisins are available online from www.pariya.com. Bella dí Cerígnola olives are a mix of giant Kalamata olives at different levels of maturity, available from Italian delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute with large Spanish green olives.