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Mackerel caponata

You'll need

4 (240gm each) blue mackerel cutlets 2 tbsp olive oil 20 gm butter 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped ½ Spanish onion, cut into wedges 500 ml (2 cups) passata 60 ml (¼ cup) aged red wine vinegar 1 tbsp golden raisins (see note) 1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed and drained 1 cup Bella dí Cerígnola olives (see note) 4 bay leaves 1 tbsp caster sugar 2 tsp marjoram leaves 2 inner stalks of celery, thinly sliced widthways, blanched and refreshed in iced water For shallow-frying: vegetable oil 1 large eggplant, very thinly sliced widthways 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling To serve: blanched flat and green beans


  • 01
  • 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.
  • 02
  • 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.
  • 03
  • 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 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.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Fresh, young Hunter semillon.

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