Caponata – Eggplant Relish

Caponata is an agrodulce (sweet and sour) eggplant relish with onions, tomatoes, and olives. You do not see this flavor profile often in italian cooking. Generally speaking, savory is savory and sweet is sweet. The exceptions are some of the Sicilian dishes and more modern dishes that have crossed over and now combine the sweet flavors with the savory. Growing up with a lot of italian and mexican food, I really never developed a taste for it and I do not like much sweetness with my savory. As such, I usually omit or reduce the sugar in this recipe when I make it. It is no longer agrodulce, but just agro when I make it 🙂 . This is a good recipe. It freezes well so if you have a garden you can process the extra eggplants and freeze it until the holidays.

Jackie’s Caponata

2 large cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup of water
3 medium or 2 large egg plant
2 medium onions
1 cup of celery
1 cup of black olives cut in half
1 cup of green stuffed olives cut in half
1 tbl. sugar
1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar

Peel egg plant.
Cut in ½ cubes and fry in olive oil until soft or golden brown.
In separate pan cut onions and celery, and fry until soft.
Combine both. Add tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil. Simmer
covered for 15 minutes.
Add vinegar, sugar, and olives. Simmer covered for 10 minutes.
Simmer uncovered an additional 20 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with crackers, toast rounds, or hard Italian bread.

Aunt Rosalie has added her tweaks to this recipe and Mom really likes it. She obviously doubles down on the sweet and the sour! Aunt Rosalie, you dear, are a REBEL!

Rosalie’s Additions

3 tbl. Sugar
¼ red wine vinegar
¼ apple cider vinegar