Caponata Triangles

Caponata is a Sicilian Aubergine or Eggplant dish which we discovered years ago whilst on holiday in Sicily. For me, as a devout carnivore, it was a revelation, I had no idea that vegetarian food could be so delicious. It was served up to us as an appetiser, however, we now eat it at home as a main meal, especially in the summer when the allotment is producing so many Italian vegetables (I always have an Italian section to grow Tomatoes, Aubergines, Peppers, Chillies, Courgettes, herbs and Italian Greens).

This meal came about after making a stuffing for Roasted Peppers, so whilst based on a Caponata recipe it also has some rice in the dish. I can however tell you, whilst not true to tradition, the triangles are delicious, either as a main course, with salad(fig 1) or just as a snack(fig 2).

Figure 1 Figure 2

 

Ingredients:

1 Good sized Aubergine (eggplant) diced fairly small,
1 Medium Onion, similarly diced,
1 to 2 cloves of Garlic crushed or diced finely,
1 good sized Courgette, similarly diced,
1 or two sticks of Celery chopped finely,
½ a green Bell Pepper chopped fairly small,
½ a small tin of Petits Pois (100 grams),
2 good handfuls of long grain Rice, cooked and ready to use,
2 Medium tomatoes diced,
1 large tablespoon of Tomato Purée or more if you desire,
½ tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar,
1 tablespoon of mixed Italian dried herbs, or your own of herbs of choice,
A few capers if you like them, they are not something I enjoy,
A handful of Olives if you feel they are required, you can even use diced potato too,
3 or 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil, it takes this amount because the Aubergine absorbs a lot of oil,

1pack of Pre-made Filo Pastry (usually about 12 sheets),
250 grams of salted Butter which has been melted.

Method:

Starting with the Onion, slowly introduce all of the ingredients(apart from the pastry) according to their cooking time into a frying pan which has had the oil added, cook for 15 minutes; season to taste and allow to cool, it should look something like (fig 3).
You can of course make up your own mix, you could add curry powder or Chilli flakes if you so desire.
Once cooled you will need to start wrapping the filling inside the Filo pastry, this is how you do it.
There is a lot of guidance about working with Filo pastry such as keep it under a damp cloth and take out one sheet at a time, I have found, if your are fully prepared and work quickly, you can do 12 triangles or rolls without having to keep them moist. If you are working in a very hot kitchen of course, then you would need to cover the pastry - your call.

Pre-heat your oven to 180C (356 F), have two baking trays oiled and ready to go, the butter melted in a pot and the pastry brush sitting in the butter.
Unwrap the Filo from the packaging it came in and gently roll it out. I have to admit, we have a Granite slab in our Kitchen which keeps pastry cool, but it should be OK on a normal work surface.
Butter the first sheet of pastry, fold it over a third from each side, then butter that too (fig 4).
Start in one corner and place about a tablespoon of the mix in one corner (fig 5), fold this over to meet the leading edge and press to seal (fig 6). Fold to make it square and then onto the diagonal again (fig 7), continue doing this until you have a remaining triangle, butter it and stand in the roasting tray (fig 8).

Continue to work through the individual sheets quickly, if you want to make some rolls then just put your mix in the middle, roll once, then fold in the sides and continue up to the top.

Once you have the triangles in the trays, butter them once again and place in the pre-heated oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, once brown on one side, turn them over to brown the other side (Fig 9).

I guarantee you will just love these little triangles, just serve them slightly warm, I drizzle a little Balsamic vinegar over mine – they taste divine.

As mentioned, I originally made this mix to stuff Bell Peppers,; I had some mix left over and rather than freeze it, made these instead; but that's another story (fig 10)

Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5
Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8
Figure 9 Figure 10