Pickled eggplant

19 April 2018
For my 30th birthday I went on a food and wine road trip with my sister and a group of good friends from Canberra to Adelaide via Rutherglen and Lanhorne Creek. At one of the many places we visited we sampled some pickled eggplant. It was delicious. I'm pretty sure we all took a jar home.

Of course the jar eventually ran out and I was forced to investigate how to make this myself or face a future without it. The research wasn't too hard. Turns out the Italians have been making this for a long long time - Melanzane Sott'Olio. I too have now been making this for the past six years (I just turned 36 on the weekend - officially late 30s now).

Pickled eggplant with hommus on crackers - perfect lunch.


This recipe takes time for the process but not really hands on time. You can scale this up and down depending on how many eggplants you have. Step one is to chop up your eggplant into matchsticks. Place these in a colander, sprinkle with salt and toss it through. Pop your colander over a bowl, place a plate on top and weigh it down. Leave this overnight in the fridge to draw out the water in the eggplant.

After salting overnight - you can see they are a little shriveled.

The next day (or whenever you get back to it) squeeze the eggplant in handfuls to draw out any remaining liquid. Then pop aside.

After the squeeze out.


Put together a pickling liquid of 2/3 vinegar and 1/3 water and bring to the boil. Alternatively you can use your pickling liquid of choice if you have a favourite. Once boiling add in your eggplant - you want enough liquid to just cover your eggplant slices and so how much total will depend on how much eggplant. If you need to add extra liquid and you're worried about the ratio just add all vinegar and the acidity level wont be thrown out. Cook for 5 minutes then drain. Once cool enough squeeze out extra vinegar and put eggplant in a bowl. Cover eggplant with enough olive oil to coat lightly, feel free to add any dried herbs or spices at this stage to pimp your pickle.

Grab some clean dry jars and squish your eggplant in. You want to pack it in nice and tight to get rid of most of the air. Then top with a layer of olive oil and store in the fridge. You can enjoy this pickle straight away on your favourite platter, tossed through some pasta, sprinkled on some pizza or squeezed into a sandwich. Enjoy!

Have you had or made pickled eggplant?
What are your thoughts on a good cheese and preserve platter?

9 comments

  1. I love eggplant, but have never had pickled ones. The only Italian eggplant dish I make is Caponata. I must try this.
    What type of eggplant do you use Laura? Is it big Italian variety or thin long ones?

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    1. Hey Nil, definitely give it a go. This batch was some beautiful heirloom striped eggplants but I have used both the big Italian and thin long ones in the past - whatever I can grow or get my hands on generally.

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  2. I have only tried eggplant a couple of times, Laura. I don't think I have ever seen it pickled either. Sounds 'interesting' ;-)

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    Replies
    1. If you like pickled veg you'd definitely like it. Although I think eggplant can be a bit of a divisive food! Pickled eggplant definitely wasn't the most photogenic subject that's for sure.

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  3. Happy birthday, Laura, for the weekend just gone. I remember being 36 ... barely! I am not a big fan of eggplant and so don't grow it here. There was a gardener who lived next door though who grew lovely little white eggplants that we sliced thinly and put on pizza. They were delicious but I've not come across them since. Meg:)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Meg. Are they the little Thai eggplants? I've had those in curry before, they definitely seem to have a texture that is easier to come at. My husband doesn't eat eggplant either so the pickle is my way of getting an eggplant hit.

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  4. I'd love to give this a go as I love eggplant and often see some really good specimens but have run out of ideas for it.

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