Bell Pepper and Eggplant Relish
Serve on an antipasto platter or on toasted slices of French bread for an elegant appetizer. This also makes an attractive gift jar.
Makes 2 pints
6 Asian eggplant sliced into ½-inch slices
6 bell peppers, any color
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup cider vinegar
4 cloves garlic, lightly smashed with the flat of a knife
1/2 teaspoon pickling salt
1 red chili, split in half and seeds removed
12 basil leaves
Preheat broiler or barbecue grill. Lightly brown slices of eggplant on both sides over flame of grill or on cookie sheet under broiler, about 10 minutes a side. Set aside. Do the same with peppers, but make sure the pepper skin blisters all the way around all peppers. It should take about 30 minutes. Place peppers in a plastic bag and seal (see roasted peppers in Appendix). Let sit 20 minutes. Removethe peppers from bag, and gently remove the skin, discard the stem, remove the seeds and quarter the peppers. While the peppers are sweating, heat the oil in a skillet. Add vinegar, garlic, salt and red chili. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Arrange eggplant slices, bell peppers and basil leaves in alternating layers in 2 sterilized, and still hot, pint jars. Pour hot oil mixture over eggplants and peppers leaving a ½-inch gap between the top of the liquid and the lid of the jar to allow for expansion. Seal, cap and process in a water bath for 20 minutes. Let flavors marry for 14 days before serving.
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