This fragrant Sicilian eggplant stew is superb with meat, fish or on its own.  Thick chunks of eggplant are given a big kick up the butt with tangy capers, salty olives and fresh herbs.  Paired with a creamy mash and the smokey flavour of chargrilled Blue Eye, I do believe we have a match made in The Med!!

Prep time:   20 Minutes                    Cooking time:   35-40 Minutes                 $$   Medium Budget

Serves 4

4 x 250gm Blue Eye Cod fillets (other white fish is fine)

2 medium firm but ripe eggplant, cut into 2cm chunks

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp of dried oregano

1 tsp of chilli flakes (optional)

5 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed and finely chopped

2 tbs of baby capers, drained

1 cup of green sicilian olives (I prefer seeds in)

4 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

1/2 tsp of sugar

2 tbs of red wine vinegar

2 tbs of continental parsley, roughly chopped

water if needed

Sea Salt and pepper

For the mash:

1kg of potatoes, peeled and chopped (I LOVE dutch cream for mash)

20gm of butter

1/2 cup of warm milk

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and pepper

Heat a large heavy based fry pan to a medium heat and add 1/2 the oil.  Fry the eggplant until soft and golden, adding more oil if needed. The eggplant really soaks up the oil so if the pan gets a little dry, don’t worry, turn the heat down a little and let it cook more slowly.  When golden add the onion, garlic, chilli and dried oregano , adding a little more oil if necessary. When the onion is cooked add the fresh oregano, tomatoes, sugar and olives.  Stir to combine before adding the vinegar,  this will get all the flavour off the bottom of the pan and make you cough!  Turn the heat to low and allow the stew to bubble away, adding a little water if you think the mixture looks too dry.  Season with salt and pepper and add most of the parsley just before serving, setting some aside to sprinkle as garnish.

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil.  Allow to boil for 20 minutes or until tender.  When cooked, drain any liquid and mash with a potato masher until smooth.  Pop the pot back on a low heat and add the butter, milk, olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper.  Stir vigorously over the heat until you have a smooth creamy consistency.  Cover with a lid and set aside.

Heat a griddle pan or BBQ to a high heat.  Brush the fish fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Cook the fish for approximately 6 minutes on each side as blue eye tends to be fairly thick.  It really will depend on the size of the fish fillet but if in doubt as to wether it is cooked or not, just part the fish gently with a knife in the thickest part and if it is a lovely white colour it is cooked all the way through!

To plate the dish, divide the mash among four warm plates.  Top with a fish fillet and a generous amount of the Caponata.  Sprinkle with remaining parsley and a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil…..