Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Eggplant in olive oil
Get a good look at this stuff, okay. Because it ain't gonna be around for very long.
No matter how many jars of pickled eggplant that I make, I'm always in the planning stages for the next batch. It's my go-to sandwich condiment. Has been since, well, I can't actually remember when it wasn't. And don't ask how many loaves of crusty bread I'm plowed through with nothing but this stuff on top.
Oh yeah, and it's a snap to make. So let's get going on that, shall we.
Peel and quarter the eggplant, then cut it into half-inch strips. (My advice is to use at least three or four large specimens, as there's a lot of shrinkage—and the finished product usually goes pretty fast.)
Place in a colander and liberally toss with salt.
Weight the strips down as best you can. The idea here is to extract as much moisture from the eggplant as you can (make sure there's something under the colander to catch the liquid). I usually let this go for a couple hours and frequently toss things around and manually press down on the strips during that time.
These strips are in good enough shape to work with.
Place the eggplant strips in a bowl, cover in distilled white vinegar, then place in the fridge for several hours. (I usually let them soak overnight.)
Drain the vinegar and then, using your hands, squeeze the eggplant strips as dry as you can.
Place in a jar, add a couple chopped cloves of garlic and some crushed hot pepper.
Then cover in extra virgin olive oil.
I'll usually wait a week before eating the eggplant but three or four days should be enough time to allow the flavors to develop. And it'll keep in the fridge for a long time.
If it lasts that long.