Saturday, June 10, 2017

Relishing Life... Caponata-Eggplant Appetizer or Relish



Caponata - Eggplant Appetizer or Relish 

This would make a very good chunky sauce to serve on pizza crust or over a pasta dish. Traditionally in Italy it is served with crackers (you would put it on crackers and eat it as an appetizer). This stuff tastes and smells amazing. It is pretty thick because of the break down of the Eggplants but ohhhhh soooooo good.

Ingredients: 

2 T olive oil (for frying only)
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced (I used 4 cloves)
1 large eggplant, sliced, pared, and cut in small cubes (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed basil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Few grains black pepper
1 cup canned tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1 cup red wine vinegar (5% acidity) (white vinegar can be substituted) I used the white vinegar.
1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces (optional)

How to make Eggplant Appetizer-Relish (Caponata) 
Heat the oil and garlic in a large, heavy skillet. Add the eggplant, green pepper, onion, and parsley; toss to mix. Cover tightly and cook over low heat about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend sugar, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Add tomato paste, water, and vinegar; mix well.

Add to mixture in skillet and stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and cook gently until eggplant is tender. The eggplant will definitely loose its firmness due to stirring, but that's ok.

Ladle into jars, remove air bubbles and fill to 1/2 headspace. Wipe rims, add hot lids and rings.

Process in water bath 15 minutes for half-pint jars and 20 minutes for pint jars.

Makes 5 cups (I doubled this recipe and ended up with 5 pints)

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