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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