Packed with green olives, capers and a touch of anchiovy, the nightshades of the traditional Sicilian Caponata are here replaced with summer zucchini and nutrient-dense chard. It’s a wonderful side dish that can be made ahead and stored in the fridge. Just remember to take it out a few hours before serving so it comes to room temperature. Make this Caponata in the Instant Pot so it’s super fast and stress free.
Nightshade Free AIP Caponata – Easy in the Instant Pot
No time for reading? Scroll down for the recipe.
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re in mid-winter. Our vegetable garden is bare, the snails having well gotten the better of us when we tried to plant a late summer crop. So it seems a bit strange to be posting this recipe, which relies on big bundles of leafy greens which are at their bountiful best when the sun is high. But I created this recipe back in August for inclusion in The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook, and tomorrow we’re heading to Australia for Christmas, so maybe the topsy-turviness of it all makes sense, after all. It’s been a long time since I’ve celebrated a summer Christmas with my family, and it’ll be a treat to be eating summer fruit and vegetables in December.
I don’t know if my Papà is growing chard. Australian readers will know that growing anything is difficult in Australia, but my old man found a way. First they (he and my brothers) laid a concrete wall several feet deep so that the rabbits couldn’t burrow through. Then they erected a cage large enough to contain a couple of fruit trees and a vegetable bed, with the wire netting fine enough to prevent the parrots, the cockatoos and the bats from eating everything in sight. In the cage, he grows tomatoes, strawberries, peaches, apples, and lettuce for salads. Probably some peppers and beans. And hopefully chard, in any of it’s variations.
We had copious amounts of rainbow chard last summer. Down in the shady side of the orto, near the olive tree, their lovely red and yellow stems caught the eye, bright, upright ribbons amongst the dark green leaves and shadows. The problem with vegetable gardens, however, is that when the time is ripe, everything is ripe together, so we had masses of the stuff. Harvesting takes time. I cut, washed, dried and froze, filling up space in the freezer. I sauteèd, steamed and stir-fried. And made big, big jarfuls of Nightshade Free Caponata.
On the Side
A few more dishes to serve on the side.
Slow Simmered Cabbage with Apples and Spice – Perfect for the cooler months, and easy to adapt the recipe for the Instant Pot.
Moroccan Inspired ‘Cous Cous’ Salad with Carrot, Dates and Mint – Wonderful for serving alongside grilled meats.
Better than Waldorf – More of a Main Dish to be sure – but just leave out the protein if you prefer to serve it as a side.
This recipe has been shared on The Wednesday Showcase.
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- 2 heaped tablespoons salted capers
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3-4 celery stalks, including leaves, chopped
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound / 500 grams zucchini, sliced into thick coins
- 1 pound / 500 grams chard, stalks only, chopped into 1 inch pieces (about 1 kilo with the leaves)
- 30 green pitted olives
- 1 tablespoon muscovado sugar
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon anchiovy paste (or 1 large anchiovy, mashed)
- 1 teaspoon iodised coarse sea salt
- Cover the capers with water so as to dissolve the salt. Rinse and drain.
- Set the Instant Pot ‘Sautè’ function to ‘Less’, and add the olive oil to the pot. Add the chopped onion and celery and sautè for 1 minute. Add all the other ingredients plus ½ cup water and stir to combine.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it, turning the valve to the ‘Sealing’ position. Set the ‘Manual’ function to 3 minutes.
- After the timer sounds, wait for the valve to drop using the Natural Pressure Release Method. Take off the lid.
- In batches, transfer the caponata to a sieve or a colander placed over a large saucepan and drain off most of the excess stock. Place the caponata into a large bowl if using immedietely, or store in large mason jars until needed. Serve at room temperature.
- The excess stock can be enjoyed on it’s own as a lovely broth, or used as the base for a soup.