Before we get started, let me say that this is not exactly a classic caponata but it is inspired by its medley of quintessential Mediterranean flavours. Caponata is a Sicilian specialty usually made with aubergines (eggplants), celery and tomatoes, which are sliced and cooked in olive oil together with capers, olives and anchovy filets. My recreation with raw zucchini (courgette) and sweet tomatoes is like a younger, wilder sister of caponata who wants to be different to its sibling yet it can’t help but keep some similarities.
It’s a zesty and vibrant salad that works really well as a side dish with some grilled meat or fish. I served it alongside a simple grilled steak. You can take this idea and spin it your own way. For an AIP friendly version, you can replace tomatoes with carrots, fennel or cucumber. Anchovies can be replaced with crispy bacon. Pine nuts can be replaced with ground hazelnuts or almonds.
- 4 medium zucchinis (courgettes), diced
- 4 medium Roma tomatoes, diced
- ½ cup Spanish pitted olives, sliced
- ¼ cup marinated capers
- zest of 1 small lemon
- ¼ cup diced green onion (spring onion)
- 3-4 anchovies, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
- 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon honey or brown rice syrup (can be omitted)
- 2-3 tablespoons pine nuts (toasted)
- 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional, nutritional yeast can be used instead)
- Combine zucchini, tomatoes, olives, capers, lemon zest, green onion and anchovies in a large salad bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine and whisk the dressing. Pour over the salad and mix to incorporate.
- To toast the pine nuts, cook them in a small frying pan over medium heat for about two minutes, stirring frequently. Top the salad with pine nuts and grated Parmesan if you wish.