By nutritional therapist Christine Bailey
A delicious prepare-ahead Mediterranean dish, caponata is a luscious Italian vegetable melange that goes very well with flavourful sea bass. You can serve the caponata warm or at room temperature and is also delicious topped with grilled/broiled chicken as an alternative.
2 aubergines, cut into cubes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 x 400g cans plum tomatoes, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into 1cm pieces
4 celery stalks, cut into 1cm pieces
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
10 pitted green olives
1 tbsp xylitol
4 sea bass fillets
1 tbsp coconut oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Put the aubergine/eggplant pieces in a roasting pan, drizzle over 2 tbsp of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden and tender.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onion, garlic, anchovy and tomatoes for 10 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes as they cook. Add the pepper, celery, vinegar, tomato purée, capers, olives and xylitol. Add the aubergine, then cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the pepper and celery are soft and the caponata mixture is thick.
Season the sea bass fillets with salt and pepper. Heat a little coconut oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Put the fillets into the pan, skin-side down, and cook for three minutes or until the skin is crispy, then put the frying pan in the oven for four minutes. Drizzle over the lemon juice. Serve the sea bass with the caponata.
Sea bass is high in protein, which is needed for the production of brain neurotransmitters, and healthy fats for optimum brain function. It is also rich in the antioxidant selenium, plus vitamins B12 and B6 to support neurotransmitter production. The caponata is packed with protective brain antioxidants.
Recipes and images from The Brain Boost Diet Plan by Christine Bailey, coming out on 18th January 2018 and published by Nourish Books.