Caponada is an Italian dip that my family has been making for years.  While I know it’s fantastic spread on crackers, I would think it would also be quite delicious as a topper to something….maybe a cheese stuffed chicken breast over some noodles?  Might have to try it out!  With the eggplant plentiful in everyone’s gardens right now (and grocery stores having awesome sales), it’s a great way to use them up!

This recipe is made in your microwave, except for the canning part.  You don’t have to put it in jars if you plan on just using it right away for a party or something.  We’ve always canned it and it really isn’t hard as long as you follow all of the steps.  If you do plan on canning, please do NOT stray from the recipe at all, as there are certain levels of acidity and such needed for proper canning.  You don’t want to get botulism!

Recipe from Toute de Suite a la Microwave
This yielded 5 small jars with a little leftover in the refrigerator.

3 cups onion, coarsely chopped (3 onions)
1/2 cup bell pepper, coarsely c hopped
1.5 cup celery, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large eggplant, peeled and diced into cubes. (Soak in salt water for 20 min.)
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 oz) can pitted black olives, whole then sliced
1/2 cup pitted green olives, whole then sliced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp oregano
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp pepper


In a 4-qt casserole, saute’ onion, bell pepper and celery in olive oil – cover with waxed paper and cook on high 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Stir in eggplant, cover and cook on high for another 30 minutes, stirring once.  Add tomato sauce and paste, cook on high for 10 minutes.

Stir in garlic, olives, vinegar, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper.  Cook on high 5 minutes.  If you are not canning, chill before serving.

If you are canning, read on…

Keep eggplant mixture hot.  In a large canning pot filled with water, bring to a boil with your jars inside.  The water level needs to be a couple of inches above the jars.  In a small saucepan, add an inch or two of water and bring the lids to a simmer (not the rings, just the lids).  Note that the lids MUST be new, you cannot reuse these.  The jars and rings may be reused.

Once the jars have boiled for a few minutes, use your tongs from your canning kit and empty out the water.  Place on a cutting board, insert the funnel into the jar and fill with the hot caponada.  Leave 1/2 inch headspace.  With a CLEAN wet towel, wipe the rim of the jar to be sure it is completely clean.  Use your magnetic lifting tool to remove one lid from the simmering water and place carefully on the jar.  Screw on the ring on top just to fingertip tightness (don’t screw on all the way, just till you feel some resistance).  Place back in the pot of boiling water and continue till all jars are filled.   Boil, covered for thirty minutes.

Once thirty minutes are up, remove to the cutting board and listen for the jars to make a popping sound.  If they processed correctly, you should not be able to press in the lid.  If you can press in the lid, then they are not done correctly and need to be refrigerated.




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