Seed Saving and Caponata

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As I greedily eat our aubergines, I do have half an eye on next year. My seed saving experiments with chillis and borlotti beans worked well this year – the squash not so much – but I do want to try and save more of my seeds next year. I was hoping to save mangetout and broadbeans but I left them on the plants too long and they just withered and vanished – quite where they vanished to, I don’t know.

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Anyway, when making this caponata I cut into an aubergine and found seeds which gave me the idea to try and save some. I don’t know if it will work for this variety or if the seeds are ready for saving but I will give it a go.

Meanwhile I am so enjoying cooking with and eating aubergines – I have missed eating them for the past 4 years or so. This is a recipe slightly adapted from River Cottage Veg Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – I love the addition of chocolate.

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Caponata: 2-3 aubergines, olive oil, 1 onion, 2 or 3 garlic cloves, big handful of tomatoes – chopped, 2 tbs balsamic vinegar, 1tbs grated dark chocolate, 1 tbs dark sugar, small handful of raisins, 2 tbs capers roughly chopped, very small handful of green olives chopped, salt.

Chop aubergine into cubes, sprinkle with salt and leave in a colander for half an hour. meanwhile heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft and golden. Add the tomatoes and cook gently. You might want to add a splash of water if you are using fresh tomatoes. Cook for 10-15 minutes then add in the capers, chocolate, vinegar, raisins, olives and sugar and cook for another 15 minutes or so. In another pan heat up some more oil and fry the aubergine cubes until golden and soft. Add to the tomato mix and simmer for a little longer, adding a bit of water if it seems too dry.

We had it on spaghetti the first day

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Then I had it at room temperature on toasted sourdough a few days later. I am not sure it is possible to make enough of this stuff.

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N.B. Aubergines from the polytunnel, tomatoes from the greenhouse and onions from the hugelkultur – I will do a gardening update soon ….

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