Sardinian food is delicious. A blue zone in the Mediterranean, these islanders eat locally-produced food that is full of flavour. A lot more known for meat-based dishes, there are however a few gems that vegans can add to their recipe collection.
A bountiful dish that is eaten every day for lunch by some of the world’s longest-lived families in Sardinia, Italy. It can be made with seasonal vegetables from the garden, but always includes beans and fregula, a toasted pebble-size semolina pasta that is popular in Sardinia.
Tip: You can vary the beans in the minestrone: pinto beans make a good substitute for cranberry beans; great northern or cannellini beans, for the favas.
Tip: Use the stalks and fronds that come off a fennel bulb for the most intense flavour. No feathery fronds on the bulb? Add a teaspoon of fennel seeds to the aromatic vegetables you sauté to begin the dish.
Tip: Add other fresh vegetables from the garden or market, such as zucchini, cabbage, green beans, and cauliflower or broccoli florets.
Tip: Want a stronger tomato taste? Stir in a tablespoon or two of tomato paste. You get the idea!
Traditionally Caponata in Sardinia is made not only copious amounts of peppers & aubergines, but it also uses local capers & olives & currants- and sometimes a tomato or two.
This dish does take a long slow simmer on the stove, but the rewards are completely worth the hot effort. This is delicious the next day, served at room temperature. Or serve over pasta or as part of a mezze type lunch, with plenty of bread to dip into it. Make a full batch and use it up over a few days. It improves the longer you leave it, the flavours melding into one another gorgeously. It freezes well too, perfect for a quick supper, or in the dead of winter to pull out & reheat for a lush reminder of warmer days.
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