Zucchini Caponata

Zucchini Caponata
  • 4Servings


  • 1/4 cup EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 4 small zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into small cubes
  • 4 small ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small red chile pepper, preferably fresno or holland, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 red or yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup sicilian green olives, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or a splash dry white wine
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • A few leaves fresh basil, torn


  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • A generous handful grated parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino-romano cheese


In a large saucepan, heat the EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, celery, bell pepper, cubanelle, chile, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are softened, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the olives and raisins. Add the vinegar (or splash wine), then stir in the tomato sauce. Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and basil, reserving a few leaves of each.

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock and milk to a boil. Whisk in the polenta until it pulls away from the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the butter, then the cheese; turn off the heat. Serve the polenta in shallow bowls and top with the caponata and reserved herbs.