Eggplant and Sweet Pepper Jam

eggplant_jam.jpg1 eggplant, about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for rubbing on eggplant
1 cup finely chopped onion
4 chubby cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped
1 large tomato, seeds removed, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Crostini or pita chips for serving
Goat cheese for serving

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pour some olive oil into the palm of your hand. Rub hands together and then rub the olive oil onto the eggplant. Place prepared eggplant on baking sheet lined with silpat (silicone baking mat) or aluminum foil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until eggplant is tender when poked with a sharp knife. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature. Cut into small cubes and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until just beginning to turn golden. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Stir in red pepper and saute for another 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggplant, tomato, salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Vegetables should be very soft and mixture should be thick. Add the vinegar and blend well. Mixture should be consistency of jam. Add the capers and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cover and refrigerate at least overnight and up to 2 days. Before serving, stir in pine nuts. Serve with crostini or pita chips and goat cheese.


- Recipe courtesy of Susan Russo