Eggplant Relish (version V)

3 cups peeled eggplant (about 1 medium) 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 can tomato paste, (6 ounces)
1/4 pound mushrooms, chopped
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/2 cup drained pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

Accompaniment: crackers or toasted Italian bread slices

In a 4- to 6-quart saucepan cook eggplant, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in oil, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Transfer relish to a bowl and cool. Chill relish 1 day to develop flavor. Serve relish on crackers or toasts.

Makes about 3 cups.

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