Today I’m transporting you to the island of Sicily for ‘Caponata’, a colorful Italian Vegetable Stew with Crispy Sea Bass from my new book ‘Keto in 15 Minuten Mediterraan’.
Chopped tomato, eggplant and celery are roasted or fried with plenty of good olive oil, capers, olives, garlic and a splash of apple cider or wine vinegar for a sweet and sour hint of fruitiness. The dish becomes even better with lightly roasted pine nuts and fresh basil, and I also like to stir in loads of spinach to make it even more nutrient dense.
You can top the vegetable stew with protein of your choice such as smoked tofu (vegan), sunny-side up fried eggs (vegetarian) or crispy baked fish.
Apparently this dish inherited its unique flavor combination from the Arabs (sweet and sour), Greeks (olives) and Spanish visitors. It kind of resembles ratatouille but still it’s completely different in flavor.
I’d love to hear what you think of this Mediterranean keto meal so let me know in the comments.
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You can find the full recipe down below and in my new book ‘Keto in 15 Minuten Mediterraan’.
Buon appetito! :)
Italian ‘Caponata’ Vegetable Stew with Crispy Sea Bass (Mediterranean Keto, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
- Chop the eggplant in cubes of about ½ inch, finely slice the celery and roughly chop the tomatoes. You could also add 1 chopped onion and 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped or grated) for extra flavor.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large cooking pot or shallow frying pan. Fry the vegetables until golden brown with sea salt and black pepper. Add a bit of water, cover the cooking pot/pan and leave to simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes or longer, until the vegetables are ‘al dente’.
- In the meantime, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Pat the sea bass fillets dry with some kitchen towel. Place them skin side down in the pan and hold them flat with a spatula (or your hand) for 15 to 30 seconds to stop them from curling up. Leave the fish to cook for about 4 minutes on medium heat without moving it. Then flip the fillets with a spatula and cook for another minute or so. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Are the vegetables tender enough to your taste? Mix in the spinach, olives and capers, and add a large spoonful of apple cider or red wine vinegar. Stir well so the spinach welts and turn off the heat.
- Serve the vegetable stew with lightly toasted pine nuts, fresh basil and the fried sea bass (with the skin up to keep it crispy).
JULIE’S TIPS & TRICKS:
- Veggie stew leftovers keep at least 2 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.
- You can replace the sea bass with other fish too such as mackerel, sardines, sea bream… The caponata goes well with smoked tofu (vegan) or sunny side up fried/poached/softly boiled eggs (vegetarian) as well.
- Tips for crispy skin fried fish:
- Dry yur fish with some kitchen towel before adding it to the pan.
- Preheat yur pan over a medium heat before your add the sea bass. It needs to be hot when the fish goes in if you want the skin to crisp up.
- Hld your fish flat in the pan the first 30 seconds with the skin side down. This stops it from curling up. Leave it to fry without moving it in the pan.
Now I would love to hear from you! Would you like to see more Mediterranean keto recipes and low carb meals on the blog? Let me know by leaving a comment down below.
Nutritional value (per person)
Carbohydrates 12.7 g, Protein 34.2 g, Fats 38.8 g, Calories 565.6 kcal