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Fig and Fennel Caponata

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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3 tablespoons good olive oil

1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-diced) red onion

2 cups (1/2-inch-diced) fennel (1 large)

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/3 cup good sherry vinegar

1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in puree, such as Redpack

8 dried Calimyrna figs, stems removed and 1/4-inch-diced

2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar, lightly packed

2 tablespoons drained capers

1/2 cup green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped, such as Cerignola

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Grilled bread for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch saute pan. Add the onions and fennel and saute for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Stir in the vinegar, tomatoes, figs, and brown sugar, stirring to coat everything with the tomatoes. Stir in the capers, olives, orange zest, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the orange juice and parsley. Taste for seasonings; the caponata should be very highly seasoned. Serve the caponata warm or at room temperature with slices of grilled bread.
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