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)
- 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.
- 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.