Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pickled Eggplant

As a child, when family would get together and have a big meal there would inevitably be antipasto (pronounced ahn-tee-PAHST). Small children would pick around and eat the Genoa salami, the chunks of provolone cheese, the pitted black olives from a can and that's about it. As I got older I personally became more and more adventurous. One of my favorite things on the antipasto tray is pickled (sometimes known as marinated) eggplant. This is sold in a jar at many Italiam markets. The problem is that the compamny stores the eggplant in vinegar or brine and it make the eggplant too tough and bitter. My grandmother showed me how to drain and "fix" the store bought kind, but the homemade version is somehow more satifying. My family was a little disappointed with the oiliness of the eggplant, because my grandmother insists the eggplant be stored submerged in oil. My parents seem to think it's fine as long as it is refrigerated. I gave away the remainder of the one jar I made (I don't have a canner so it isn't made for long term storage), so unfortunately I cannot attest to how well it is keeping. I thought it was delicious and you can just drain them a little before you eat them.

Pickled Eggplant

You can make as much or as little as you like. For me 1 medium eggplant is 1 jar or maybe a little more. For each eggplant use 3-4 cloves of garlic. You also need white vinegar (enough to submerge eggplant, corn or vegetable oil (Never olive oil!), salt, crushed red pepper, and dried oregano. The crushed red pepper and oregano is really to taste.

  1. Slice eggplant longways and put in a colander over the sink. Each layer of eggplant should be salted as you put it in the colander.
  2. Put something heavy over the eggplant to press out the liquid (I used a plate with a large bottle of vinegar on top. Let eggplant sit for 2 hours.
  3. Squeeze the eggplant out thoroughly.
  4. Boil vinegar and pour on eggplant. Squeeze eggplant out again.
  5. Put eggplant in a bowl and pour oil over them. Mix will and add more oil.
  6. Add chopped garlic, hot pepper, and oregano and mix.
  7. Put a littl oil in jars and add eggplant halfway up jar. Add more oil and then fill will egpplant being sure the top is covered with oil.
This is the recipe I followed.

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