Eggplant and Tomato Relish

by jerseygirl on December 8, 2011 · 20 comments

If you’ve read my blog even a few times, you probably know I love tomatoes.  While I have proclaimed my love for juicy Jersey tomatoes, I have a dirty little secret to reveal. Since NJ is a climate that only  produces tomatoes for a few select summer months, I use lots of canned tomatoes for much of the year. I do freeze some of my Jersey ones but they can only last me for so long. And the truth is, canned tomatoes are great in recipes.

One of the companies I rely on for my tomatoes is Red Gold. This Midwestern company is out of Indiana and they also make the brands Red Pack,  Tuttorosso, and Sacramento. Recently they sent me a nice six pack. This is my kind of six pack as I’d take this over a six pack of beer any day. While the tomatoes sat on my counter, the recipes started forming in my head. Honestly, I could eat pasta with tomato sauce (or gravy but that’s a future blog post) everyday.  This time, I decided to make something a little lighter that is also a perfect appetizer.  I made a sweet and savory eggplant and tomato relish. This versatile dish can be served on crackers, any type of bread or pitas. It is also very good on top of chicken, fish or pasta but I preferred to eat it right from the pan with a spoon. Yes, it was that good!

My Italian relatives call this Caponata which is an eggplant salad seasoned with sugar and vinegar. I varied from the traditional recipe so I am calling it a relish. I love pearl onions so I used them instead of chopped onions. You can buy them in the frozen veggie section of your grocery store and not have to worry about teary eyes. I also added some red wine to this recipe. It gave some sweetness without having to add extra sugar.

The holidays are coming and Red Gold tomatoes will be in many of my recipes. Stay tuned for more as you know how much I love tomatoes.

Eggplant and Tomato Relish

3 TBS olive oil
1 cup peeled pearl onions
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium sized eggplant, chopped
1 (14 oz) can Red Pack diced tomatoes (with basil, garlic and oregano)
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup red wine
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 TBS fresh chopped parsley

Heat oil in a large heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and eggplant. Saute until eggplant is soft and brown, about 15 minutes. Add diced tomatoes with juice, raisins, wine and vinegar. Cover and simmer on low or until eggplant and onion are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season caponata to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in fresh parsley. Transfer relish to serving bowl. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Disclosure: I received complimentary Red Gold tomatoes but I received no monetary compensation for my review. This post is, however, an entry into the Red Gold bloggers contest, which makes it eligible for prizes they will be awarding. The views and opinions expressed are mine alone based upon my use of this product.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica December 8, 2011 at 11:46 pm

I'm a total tomato freak too :) I've never heard of this brand- I will have to give it a go. The flavors in this recipe sounds awesome

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Pegasuslegend December 9, 2011 at 6:45 am

This would be great for lunch reminds me of caponata… lovely for the holiday appetizers spreads… this ones a keeper!

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The Japanese Redneck December 9, 2011 at 10:15 am

I'm right up there with you as being a tomato luver.

From tomato gravy and biscuits in the morning to anything tomato throughout the day. Luv them.

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Jeanette December 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Yum – this sounds like a caponata that I used to make. Nice healthy appetizer!

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bookcasefoodie December 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I used to make this for crackers. Never thought of bread. Looks good.

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Pam December 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I could eat just this for dinner and be perfectly happy!

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Dining Alone December 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I will keep an eye out for this brand, my husband adores tomatoes.

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teresa December 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm

i love this, it looks like such a yummy and unique flavor!

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Angela December 11, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Red Gold tomatoes are GREAT! My grandmother's chili recipe specified Red Gold and no other brand would do.

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Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) December 11, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Caponata on a slice of fresh mozzarella is one of my favorite appetizers!

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Patsyk December 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm

love that you found a great use for canned tomatoes! this is my type of appetizer… or snack, as I could just nibble on this all afternoon long.

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That Girl December 12, 2011 at 1:39 am

We're doing a lot of tomatoes this week. And I really should do canned, the tomatoes we get this time of year are truly subpar.

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Rosa's Yummy Yums December 12, 2011 at 9:55 am

A scrumptious looking relish! Perfect on toasted bread.

Cheers,

Rosa

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Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. December 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm

This looks fabulous! A great appetizer for the holidays

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Feast on the Cheap December 12, 2011 at 6:55 pm

What a yummy winter app!

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Aggie December 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm

This is so my kind of food!! I love how you served it on the little mini pitas, so smart!

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Aggie December 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm

oh and by the way, I always buy Tuttorossa tomatoes, love them! (and they are always on sale w coupons, great deal and I stock up!)

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The Food Hunter December 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I get Red Pack delivered to Phoenix…I love them that much

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