Pickled eggplant

Pickled eggplant

Melanzane sott'olio

By
From
Sharing Puglia
Makes
900 g
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

Harvesting foods in season and then making pickles and preserves and storing them for lean times is a tradition well practised all over Italy. Pugliese cooks have their closely held pickling recipes, handed down over several generations. For this recipe, choose the freshest, heaviest eggplants and pickle them as soon as possible. As a result, they will still have a bite to them after the pickling process. Serve as part of an antipasti platter or on bruschetta, as well as a tasty accompaniment to fish and meat.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 small eggplants, peeled
2 handfuls sea salt
1 litre white wine vinegar
125ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
1 handful fresh oregano leaves, torn
2 bay leaves
dried chilli flakes, (optional)

Method

  1. Slice the eggplants thinly using a mandoline, then cut the slices into batons. Place them in a bowl in layers, sprinkling each layer with the sea salt. Cover the bowl with a weighted plate and leave overnight – this will take all the bitterness out of the eggplant.
  2. Rinse the eggplant well and drain. Press the liquid out of the eggplant completely using paper towel.
  3. Place the drained eggplant in a non-reactive bowl and cover with the white wine vinegar. Leave to marinate for 5–6 hours.
  4. Drain the eggplant again and place on a tea towel to dry for 1–2 hours.
  5. Sterilise two 450 ml glass jars by boiling them in a large saucepan for 30 minutes. Remove the jars carefully and leave to dry on a clean tea towel.
  6. Place 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the base of each jar, then add a few garlic slices, some herbs, the chilli flakes, if using, and then some eggplant slices. Continue layering like this until you have filled the jars.
  7. Press the eggplant down firmly so that the jars are well filled. Cover the surface with extra-virgin olive oil, close the lids firmly and store for 2 days in a cool dark place.
  8. After 2 days, check that the eggplant is still submerged in the oil. If not, top the jars up with more extra-virgin olive oil. Store the pickled eggplant in a cool, dark place for 3 months before eating. It will keep for up to 12 months – ensure that the eggplant is always covered with oil.
Tags:
italy
italian
puglia
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