Silver Travel Cook Club - February 2021

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Silver Travel Cook Club Noble CaledoniaThis month’s Silver Travel Cook Club features a recipe for Sicilian Caponata inspired by sponsor Noble Caledonia's Wonders of Sicily and the Amalfi Coast cruise.

And you could win a copy of Cucina Siciliana: Fresh and vibrant recipes from a unique Mediterranean island by Ursula Ferrigno. Discover the unique fusion of flavours that Sicilian food has to offer and bring some Mediterranean sunshine into your own kitchen.

An exploration of Sicily and the Amalfi Coast aboard the MS Serenissima

The island of Sicily has an incredible wealth of treasures and a geography which lends itself beautifully to exploration by sea with most points of interest located close to the coast. Owing to its benevolent climate and superb strategic position, Sicily has been coveted, fought over and colonised numerous times with the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Byzantines and Bourbons having all made their mark. Wonders of Sicily and the Amalfi Coast itineraryDuring the voyage aboard the MS Serenissima you will discover Sicily’s rich heritage which is the result of so many invading civilisations.

From magnificent Doric temples to great Byzantine cathedrals and bizarrely styled villas, there is so much to explore during the voyage which is timed for September and October when the crowds of high summer will have departed and the temperatures will be pleasant for the guided tours. The voyage finishes by sailing across to mainland Italy where a visit to beautiful Positano is included, considered one of the prettiest towns along the Amalfi Coast and the magnificent site of Herculaneum.

Departure dates and pricing:

24 September and 4 October 2021
10 nights from £4,395
Find out more
Taormina, Sicily
Syracuse, Sicily

Recipe: Sicilian Caponata

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 large aubergines
  • 1 large stick celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons salted capers
  • 1 handful of green olives
  • 5 large ripe tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Preparation:

Cut the aubergine into large chunks. Peel and chop the celery at an angle in 2 cm-wide slices, then peel and finely slice the garlic. Pick and chop the parsley leaves and finely chop the stalks. 

Sicilian CaponataRinse, soak and drain the capers and remove the olive stones. Roughly chop the tomatoes.  

In a large pan, pour in a couple of glugs of olive oil, and place on the heat. Add your aubergine chunks and oregano, season with a little sea salt and toss around, so the aubergine is evenly coated by the oil. Cook on a high heat for around 4 or 5 minutes.  

When the aubergines are nice and golden on each side, add the celery, garlic and parsley stalks, and continue cooking for another couple of minutes. Feel free to add a little more oil to the pan if you feel it's getting too dry. 

Throw in the drained capers and the olives, and drizzle over the vinegar. When all the vinegar has evaporated, add the tomatoes and simmer for around 15 minutes or until tender. 

Season if you need to with salt, black pepper and a little more vinegar. Drizzle with some good olive oil and serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley leaves. 

This dish is delicious served with fish or as a pasta sauce. Buon appetito! 

Cucina SicilianaHow to win a copy of Cucina Siciliana by Ursula Ferrigno

Despite the latest lockdown, news of the vaccine gives us great optimism for holidays this summer, and the flavours of Italy are so tempting! We might not be able to travel right now, but we’d love to know which Italian dishes and dining experiences you are dreaming about.

Add a comment below and the best entry will win a copy of Cucina Siciliana: Fresh and vibrant recipes from a unique Mediterranean island by Ursula Ferrigno.


Read more about all of our Silver Travel Cook Club recipes.

 

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Other Members' Thoughts - 22 Comment(s)

  • you
    4 months ago
    My husband likes Italian food, my daughter and her family all like cooking. When we can all meet again this book will be inspirational....
  • JCE
    4 months ago
    Nothing beats walking through the streets of Italy at 1pm ish and spelling all of the deliciousness wafting out of everybody’s windows - I lived in a Italy many years ago and returned after 25 years away. The receptionist at our hotel asked me what I would like to eat on my first night there and phoned several restaurants to make sure it was on the menu and still available (top quality service if ever there was one) Had to be fiori di zucchini fritti, melanzane parmigiana and Agnello alla fricassea - All we’re divine
  • SilverTravelEditor
    4 months ago
    I'm learning so much from these lovely comments. Just one more week left to leave a comment and I look forward to reading them.
  • Leah50
    4 months ago
    How I loved reading your Caponata recipe. Yours is Sicilian, mine Maltese (Kapunata), and they're slightly different. Mine, taught me by my mother-in-law has the addition of peppers, fresh herbs, raisins & pine nuts. It's served cold in a "best" dish with crusty bread rubbed with garlic and tomato halves, then dipped in olive oil. I've never been to Sicily sadly, just mainland Italy, Cucina Siciliana looks like a cookbook I'd love to add to my ever expanding shelf of drool-worthy recipe guides.
  • Girlontour
    4 months ago
    Some years ago in my carefree youth, I had a seasonal job grape picking in Italy where board and lodgings were provided. Midday food was taken in the fields, sitting in the shade I remember devouring warm crisp bread dipped in thick sticky olive oil, chunks of salty goats cheese and large misshapen sweet tomatoes.
    Evening meals were taken outside the farmhouse over looking the valley. The table seemed to heave and sigh
    under the weight ...huge dish of steaming little dumplings ( I now know they were gnocci) and baby mushrooms, asparagus and crumbled goats cheese, sweet roast tomatoes, dark rough rustic bread. Liquid refreshment was local red wine and pure cold water drawn from the farm well. It was the beginning of my life long affair with Italian food. .
  • Monika
    4 months ago
    I have travelled the length and width of Sicily, visiting Agrigento, Palermo, Piazza Armerina, Giardini Naxos, Taormina, Syracusa and even went up to Mount Etna. It would be a constant reminder to win such a cookery book just to think of all the tasty dishes I enjoyed while there.
  • SilverTravelEditor
    4 months ago
    So many delicious comments - my mouth is watering ! I too am dreaming of being in Italy. I studied Italian and History of Art at the British Institute in Florence in the 80s (where I also sampled a lot of the local food and wine, can anyone remember the cheap chianti in wicker bottles).
  • JoeGr
    4 months ago
    Sounds like a lovely cook book and I don't have any Sicilian cook books!
  • you
    4 months ago
    My husband loves Italian food.....
  • sefalleyne
    4 months ago
    Vin rosso and home made pasta. I have tried to recreate, remembered wonderful Italian lunches at home but they are so sadly lacking in warmth and taste however the memories still cheer me up.
  • Woofles
    4 months ago
    Home made pasta with local sauces . . . mouthwatering!!
  • JulieAAA
    4 months ago
    Sicily sounds like a wonderful place to visit, and I can't wait to try the Sicilian Caponata recipe.
  • Ozdevon
    4 months ago
    I am dreaming of being in the Italian Lakes gazing out from a small cafe/restaurant eating simple pasta with some Italian seafood or vegetables. Of course there would have to be a bottle of Italian wine to go with it.
  • ChristineT
    4 months ago
    Some years back on a Mediterranean cruise, we arranged for a car to take us on a day tour along the Amalfi coast. I still remember the lunch stop - a small restaurant along the roadside, with a terrace looking out across the sea and superb coastal views. The house speciality was spaghetti cooked in a paper bag with mussels, clams, prawns, olive oil and lemon juice. Superb washed down with a nice bottle of local chilled white wine. Home made tiramisu to follow, and then a bottle of limoncello placed on the table. Still have dreams about that lunch!
  • Sararose
    4 months ago
    I married my first husband when I was very young (and foolish) and we bought an old van and drove to Southern France and into Northern Italy camping en route. By the time we had got to Italy we were pretty short of money (having borrowed £30 for the whole trip) and went into a restaurant with an extensive menu. All we could afford was a plate of spaghetti with absolutely nothing added! I don't know why we didn't just leave ! Since then I have eaten some delicious Italian meals in Venice, Rome and Florence but I will always remember that plate of plain boiled spaghetti!
  • DRSask
    5 months ago
    Andiamo indeed! I am taken back to a wonderful meal at a farm outside Sorrento. We had signed up for a tomato and mozzarella lunch but were not prepared for the feast we were given: pickled eggplant and prosciutto, bread, wine, tomato and mozzarella, followed by tomato pasta, cream pasta, and ricotta cake drizzled with lemoncita. Delicious!
  • WBA
    5 months ago
    I have spent many happy times in Sicily and love their food.
  • Dave-SoS
    5 months ago
    Who can top Andrew Morris' comment below. What an adventure that must have been! Sounds delightful and I can't wait to get back to Italy to give it a try! Thanks for the tip! That's one of the best things about this site!
  • LynetteH
    5 months ago
    Really love trying different cuisines. Italian cooking was one of the first that I used to addict my husband and friends to try. He hooked so much that we our arguments all revolve around who gets to do the cooking each night and which countries cuisine to make.
  • Hardyplant
    5 months ago
    I'm dreaming about eating anything in Italy but the following mainly northern Italian dishes would make my perfect meal: Spaghetti Vongole (clams) followed by Fegato alla Veneziana (Venetian style liver) and to finish Biscotti dipped in Vin Santo. This is what I had for my final meal when we went to Venice in 2019, having stumbled across Osteria ai do Pozzi in the back streets of Castella; I love Venetian style liver and this one was perfectly cooked and served with grilled slices of white polenta. As there's no vegetables I'd better add a side plate of salad (although I realise that the Italians would probably start the meal with a salad).
  • 1234mll
    5 months ago
    Oooh sounds good! Trying to eat less meat to a good pasta dish. Thanks
  • AndrewMorris
    5 months ago
    Sicilian caponata brings back a very happy memory: arriving in the beautiful coastal town of Cefalu, after a few tough days walking there from the Madonie mountains. On a searingly hot day, an authentic caponata and a cold beer overlooking the dazzling Tyrrhenian Sea below the restaurant, refreshed aching limbs and the soul.
    But looking ahead to a post-Covid world I dream of eating Pugliese food, when we can finally escape to Puglia on a delayed cycling trip. I can taste the orecchiette ('little ears') pasta now, washed down with a few glasses of Pillastro Primitivo vino rosso. Andiamo!