Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eggplant Appetizer - Caponata

Caponata

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)
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