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Caponata and Tomato Balsamic Jam

Caponata is a Sicilian dish which is used as a side dish or condiment. I can remember my Mother serving on toasted Italian bread as a starter or appetizer. This is my version of my Mothers recipe, its less sweet and the vegetables are soft but still retain their shape. It makes a wonderful sandwich with a sharp cheese, like aged provolone. I used peppadew peppers but you can use a red bell pepper instead, my Mother also sauteed the eggplant but I like to brush with olive oil and roast in the oven. I suggest having this on a thick slice of rustic Italian bread from the Solitary Cook. Tomato balsamic Jam is so simple to make and absolutely delicious. All you need are good tomatoes, olive oil, shallot or onion and balsamic vinegar, and you will have a tomato condiment that can be used in so many dishes. I spread on bread and top with a poached egg, or make a quick pizza, there are so many uses. Keep in a jar in the fridge it will last for at least a week or more refrigerated.

4 Italian eggplant washed and cut in half lengthwise. Skin on.

1 Medium size onion chopped

2 Stalks celery (Use the tender inner stalks) chopped

3 cloves garlic minced

4 Peppadew peppers chopped (If you do not have these use red bell pepper)

1/2 Red bell pepper chopped (if using instead of peppadew increase to 1 cup)

4  Fresh tomato’s peeled and seeds removed, or 1cup canned tomatoes diced or 1 cup tomato balsamic jam

3 tablespoons capers rinsed, rough chop

1/4 cup Olives Kalamata or green (I use a little of each) Rough chop the olives

2 teaspoons Sugar (add 1 tsp taste and add another if needed)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450, clean the eggplant cut the tops off and cut in half lengthwise. On baking sheet lined with aluminum foil brush a little olive oil  on each half, both sides, place your eggplant cut side down and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Chop the eggplant into bite size pieces.
  2. In fry pan on med/high flame coated with olive oil add your chopped onion, cook until translucent. Add chopped celery and red bell pepper, continue cooking until they are soft and have started to caramelize. Add your minced garlic, cook for a minute or so don’t let garlic brown. Add your eggplant,tomato,peppers, capers, olives,crushed red pepper, sugar and vinegar continue cooking until mixture is thick. Eggplant will break down but thats ok this will take about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit overnight. It tastes incredible when it has rested and all the flavors have blended together.


2 cups fresh tomatoes cut into pieces

1 shallot minced

1 tps sugar

1 tbs balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil to coat pan

Coat your fry pan with olive oil, heat should be med/high. Add shallots and saute until translucent, add tomato, sugar, salt and pepper to taste and cook until tomato starts to caramelize but there should still be some of the juices from the tomato you don’t want it too dry. Add the balsamic vinegar and continue to cook stirring frequently for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat,let cool to room temperature before refrigerating.


19 Comments Post a comment
  1. Bevi #

    I love any kind of tomato jam, and will try this.

    February 28, 2012
  2. Thanks Bevi, I know love tomato jam and I really love your recipe.

    February 28, 2012
  3. This is beyond heavenly!

    February 28, 2012
  4. Exquisite, my mouth is watering, ♥ it! Looking forward to the rest of the week 🙂

    February 28, 2012
    • Thanks Linda, working on the rest of the week. Italian food is pretty labor intensive,

      February 28, 2012
      • I am SO making this recipe !!!!!

        March 1, 2012
  5. Love all the flavors here – I made tomato jam for the first time last summer and fell in love with it. Adding balsamic is marvelous.

    March 2, 2012
  6. Thanks so much Hannah, I can’t wait for the good tomatoes so I can make more!

    March 2, 2012
  7. I love tomato jam! I don’t think I’ve every added balsamic though – what a great idea!!

    March 2, 2012
    • I love tomato jam too, but don’t like it to sweet, the balsamic adds just the right amount of sweetness without being too sweet and a lovely depth of flavor. Thanks so much

      March 2, 2012
  8. petit4chocolatier #

    I remember this beautiful dish! And you have prepared it even better than I remember. I believe I have mentioned this before; but you really should publish your own cookbook!

    September 16, 2012
  9. I was curious about your version. Great idea, to roast eh eggplant first. I will try it next time.
    Also love the tomato jam. I have some nice tomatoes so will prepare it today with fish. Thanks! 🙂

    August 7, 2016
    • Wow I haven’t visited my post in a long time. My Mom didn’t roast the eggplant but I thought I would give it a try and I like it. It adds to the overall flavor. The tomato jam I make every year when it’s tomato season, I noticed I forgot to add the sugar to the recipe it’s only 1 tsp but it makes a difference, Thanks so much Ronit.

      August 7, 2016
      • I’m sure the roasting adds lots of flavor.
        As for the jam – I was thinking about using honey here too, it goes so well with the Balsamic vinegar. I will probably make it a bit spicy too. 🙂

        August 7, 2016
      • Thats a great idea Ronit, I never thought of honey. Next week I will make some more and use honey. Thank you.

        August 7, 2016

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