Tangy eggplant and tomatos - a classic combination

I have a lot of eggplant, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and basil from the garden. I decide to make this relish again, the original post was from five years ago.

This recipe from the Wednesday July 28, 2010 Chicago Tribune, Good Eating section. Originally, it comes from the Williams-Sonoma “The Art of Preserving” by Rick Fields and Rebecca Courchesne with Lisa Atwood.

It is an updated version of caponata, a Sicilian antipasto. Though it does take some time, none of the steps are difficult. My only complaint is I am always canning in the heat of summer. Today was 95 degrees!

If you choose not to can this you can freeze it, the flavor will be awesome, but the texture will be a little softer.

This relish is tangy, and complex tasting. The first time I made this I got 2.5 pints. This time it easily made 4 pints. I’m not sure what the difference is, especially given the time between. I will say it is damn delicious.

Serve with crusty bread or stirred into linguine or spaghetti.

Eggplant Tomato Relish

2 lbs (1 Kg) eggplant sliced 3/4 thick
1/4 cup (60 ml) salt
1.75 lbs (875 gm) tomatoes, peeled, cored, cut in 3/4″ dice
2 cups (500 ml) whole small onions – or equivalent amount of chopped onion
4-6 Tablespoons (60-90 ml) olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1/3 cup (75 ml) Kalamata Olives
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) lightly toasted pine nuts (these are ridiculously expensive, so much so, that I consider them optional)
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) capers
1/2 cup (125 ml) red wine vinegar
1/3 cup (75 ml) finely sliced basil
salt and pepper to taste

  1. If canning, prepare jars lids and bands, and hot water bath
  2. Put eggplant in a colander, sprinkle with the salt, allow to drain for 1 hour. Rinse under cold water, pat dry, and cut into 3/4 inch dice.
  3. Heat 3 tbs oil in large sauce pan over medium high heat. Cook eggplant in batches, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, transfer to plate. You may need a little more
  4. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pot, reduce heat to medium low, add onion and cook until tender – about 10 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and cook stirring often, for 2 minutes
  6. Stir in tomatoes, olives, pine nuts, capers, and vinegar
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  8. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, gently stir in eggplant and basil, simmer until heated through
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  10. Season with pepper (salt if needed, but olives and capers provide salt)
  11. Ladle hot relish into  sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe rims clean and adjust two piece lids
  12. Process jar in boiling water canner 20 minutes for 1/2 pints, 25 minutes for pints.
  13. Cool jars, test seals, store. If seal fails, refrigerate jar and use within two weeks.


I’m saving a bright bit of summer for the dark of winter. Are you putting up anything this year? If so, what is it?

Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging!.