Caponata | Add A Little

I went to Palermo last year and I’ve got to say, I think it’s my favourite place in Italy. The weather is gorgeous and the food. The food – it’s incredible. Everything has fresh flavours and you can taste the ingredients in every dish.

Caponata | Add A Little

2 of the dishes really struck a cord with me though and I’m desperate to go back just so I can try them again! The first was pasta with sardines and fennel – it may sound simple but it’s an amazing combination of salty, sweet and crunchy! The other was caponata – I’m pretty sure I ordered this every night wherever we ate!

Caponata | Add A Little

Although this isn’t an exact replica of the dish, I’ve created my own spin on it which I think is equally as delicious!

Caponata | Add A Little

So even if you can’t go to Sicily, why not try out this dish next to a warm cozy fire – perfect on top of polenta, scooped up with light and airy ciabatta or atop some salad (arugula works perfectly because of its peppery-ness!)

Caponata vegan, dairy free, gluten free
Serves 2

This is a comforting dish of stewed vegetables that can be eaten warm or cold. It’s the perfect balance of the salty capers with the sweetness of the bright vegetables!
Feel free to increase any vegetables to your preference. Olives also work nicely but I had none on hand – if you do add them I would reduce the salt as the dish is naturally quite salty.

1 medium aubergine, cut into chunks
2 or 3 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed and cut
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Dash of white wine (can be omitted)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasonings (you can also use fresh parsley etc)
1 teaspoon capers
Pinch of dried chilli flakes

You first want to sauté the aubergine in olive oil and season with salt in a wide pan until brown.

Once the aubergine is brown, add some water to the pan and place a lid on top so that it steams and softens.

Add a dash more oil and add in the onions and garlic until fragrant and soft.

Add the vinegar until evaporated then add capers, herbs, tomatoes and peppers.
Also add a pinch of salt and pepper at this point. (Don’t add too much as capers are salty!)

Mix around and add water and cover with a lid so it can steam and soften.

Taste and season and add wine at this point.
Keep sautéing until wine has evaporated and serve.

Caponata | Add A Little


Review: Polpo Notting Hill

Theres a new restaurant in the neighbourhood! I mean, technically this isn’t a ‘new’ restaurant because Polpo has been around in different locations for a while, but it’s come to Notting Hill! It’s a great little Italian bàcaro, or little humble restaurant to you and I, that serve small dishes (more to order, more to try!) along with drinks. I think it’s a really great concept and the food was delicious. Polpo rabbit, chicory salad

We started off with the rabbit, chicory and tonnata salad (£7), which was one of my personal favourites. The rabbit was extremely tender and went really well with the chicory and tonnata dressing (made from tuna, capers and mayonnaise).

Polpo braised scallops

I didn’t have any of the braised scallops, pancetta and peas (£8) but apparently the scallops were cooked to perfection and went well with the green vegetables.

Polpo Fennel, almond & curly endive

This fennel, almond & curly endive (£6) was also another amazing salad which I will definitely recreate at home. The dressing was super zingy and lemony and went well with the fennel flavour and the salty, crunchy almonds. Delicious!

Polpo classic beef and pork meatballs

Polpo are mostly famous for their meatballs and pizettes, and unfortunately we didn’t try the pizzette this time, but the meatballs did not disappoint! We went for the classic beef and pork meatballs (£6) and they were super moist and the sauce tasted fresh and lovely!   Polpo arancini

Polpo arancini

Now heres a photo that will make your mouth water! 2 mouthfuls of joy, also known as arancini (£3)!

Finally, for dessert, we went for the amarena cherry & ricotta cannoli (£4), which was the perfect balance of fruitiness (it also contained orange peel) and sweetness, without being cloying!

Polpo Amarena cherry & ricotta cannoli

Polpo is a great little Italian restaurant. Luckily, we only ended up paying £19 for this (bargain or what?!) because it was half price for the first 2 days of opening. It’s not the cheapest place usually, but I think for a date it would be a great place. The atmosphere is casual, but also quite romantic due to the candles on each table! It’s delicious and you can tell they use great quality ingredients.


Address: 126-128 Notting Hill Gate London W11 3QG

Call 020 7229 3283 to book