Pickled Eggplant My Way
My garden has been very productive this year. I’ve had more than my fair share of zucchini and eggplant. So what to do with all this produce? You don’t want to freeze produce like zucchini and eggplant, it contains too much water and won’t taste as good as freshly picked. Needless to say, I’ve been a very busy lady. But that’s okay, we’ve got a freezer and that’s where all of this good food is going. I feel like a squirrel hiding away my summer stash!
Growing my food and preserving brings back such good memories for me. My grandmother was awesome! I learned so much visiting the farm each summer from my grandmother. So pickled eggplant, also known as Melanzane Sott’olio. I thought this would be really hard to make. It actually wasn’t and once I got the ingredients together (which I always do) it went by really fast. Since this was my first time making eggplant this way, I only bought two nicely first eggplant at the farmer’s market. (Make sure they are firm) This recipe filled one quart and pint jar. Nothing pairs better with pickled eggplant than a fresh loaf of baked bread!
When I was young and visiting the farm, lunch consisted of homemade green olives, a block of cheese and a fresh loaf of bread. My grandfather would drink nothing but his homemade wine and he’d always pour me a little glass. It was just the three of us chowing down. The sweet memories of that time I spent with my grandparents, every child should be able to share. It’s a different lifestyle than the hustle and bustle of the world we live in today!
Enough of that and on to the recipe.
5 cups Eggplant, medium (make sure the eggplant color is a bright black and shiny and firm)
6 Garlic cloves, medium
1 tbsp Oregano, dried
3/4 cup Red bell pepper, small (You can add yellow and red)
1 tbsp Kosher salt
1 tsp Red pepper flakes
1 1/4 cups Olive oil, extra-virgin
1 cup White wine vinegar
Place cubed eggplant in large bowl and cover with kosher salt. Nest a bowl on top and grab of couple of canned goods from the cabinet and place in bowl. This will help squeeze out the excess water. Let it drain for approximately one hour before removing.
Transfer the eggplant to a strainer and rinse well, letting cold water run through as you toss eggplant with your hands. Press out any excess water once you are done rinsing.
Combine vinegar and red pepper flakes in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and simmer for 2 minutes. Then remove from oven and let mixture stand for 10 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients stirring well to make sure they are combined.
This next part gets a bit messy. Transfer the mixture to a quart jar leaving approximately 1/2 inch room at top of jar. Let it cool to room temperature and then add lids and refrigerate.
Wait at least three days before tasting. In fact, the longer the eggplant sits in the jars the better it will taste.
Tonight I made carrot curried fritters topped with chutney. The salad had halved grape tomatoes, avocado (add a mango if you like), garlic minced, fresh parsley and minced shallot. Good for you! So keep your eyes peeled, (no pun intended) for the recipe.