Recipe: Theo Randall’s Caponata

This rich, juicy vegetable dish works well as a starter with crusty bread, or is fabulous served with grilled lamb as a hearty main meal.

Inspired by his travels across Italy, Theo Randall at the InterContinental has introduced a monthly changing tasting menu around his memories of the different regions. March’s menu focuses on Sicily, where dishes like this delicious vegetable stew are star of the show.


3 medium-size aubergines  | 2 red peppers |  2 yellow peppers  | 4 medium-size courgettes | 1 red onion, finely sliced  | 2 sticks celery, cut in to 1/2 cm pieces  | 600ml tomato passata |  2 tbsp of miniature capers in vinegar |  75g pine nuts  | 5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (evoo)  | 8 leaves fresh basil, roughly torn.

Serves 4.


  1. Cut the aubergines into 2cm thick disks and cut in half again, so you have 1/2 moons of aubergines. Place into a large bowl with a sprinkle of salt and 3 tbsp olive oil. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Place the oiled aubergine slices carefully on to a baking sheet, lined with greaseproof paper. Ensure that the slices fill the tray but do not overlap.
  3. Place in a pre-heated oven at 180c for 15 minutes, take out of the oven and turn over the aubergine slices and put back in the oven for a further 10 minutes. To check they are cooked, cut with a sharp knife on the outside edge of the aubergine and if the knife goes through easily, then the aubergine is cooked.
  4. In a large saucepan, add 2 tbsp evoo, sliced onion and celery, and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat.
  5. While the onions are cooking, prepare the peppers by cutting them in half lengthways and removing the stem and all the seeds. Then slice into roughly 2cm sized pieces.
  6. Add to the pan with a pinch of salt. Place the lid on tightly so the peppers start to steam.
  7. After 10 minutes cooking, add the courgettes and cook without the lid for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add the tomato passata and cook on a low heat for a further 10 minutes so the tomato passata has reduced by half.
  9. Add the capers, pine nuts, torn basil and finally the roasted aubergines. Mix together well and leave on the stove to cook very gently for a further 5 minutes to combine. Remember to taste to check the seasoning.
  10. Serve as a starter with some good bread and extra olive oil or as a main with grilled lamb.


The four-course tasting menu and paired wines is priced at £70 per person and is available for lunch Tuesday to Friday and for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. Theo Randall at The InterContinental, One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, W1J (020 7409 3131;