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Eggplant Preserved In Olive Oil - {Melanzane Sott'Olio}


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  • 3 medium eggplants
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Coarse sea salt as needed
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow bell peppers
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 sterilized pint jars - (to 4)


Servings 3


Step 1

Wash and dry the eggplants, remove the stems, and cut the eggplants into 1/4-inch rounds. Place in a deep nonmetal bowl and cover with vinegar. Place a double layer of wax paper over the eggplants and place a bowl filled with water on top to keep the eggplants submerged. Let marinate at room temperature for 2 days.

Squeeze the vinegar out of the eggplants with your hands and layer the slices in the sterilized jars, sprinkling each layer with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Divide the bell peppers among the jars. Add 1 or 2 basil leaves and pepper to taste to each jar. When the jars are three-quarters full, add olive oil to cover the eggplant mixture, pushing down on it with a wooden spoon to submerge it. Top off each jar with oil before capping it. Let the jars sit overnight at room temperature.

If the eggplant has absorbed some of the oil and the slices are poking through the oil, add more oil to cover them completely. Cap again and let sit overnight.

Add more oil to the jars if necessary so that the eggplant is fully submerged under the oil. Cap the jars, put them in a very cool place, and let ripen for 6 weeks before using them. Refrigerate after opening.

Variation: To serve as an antipasto, cut thick slices of good country bread or Pane Rustico, place the slices on a baking sheet, and toast in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove the slices to individual serving dishes, and rub the slices with whole peeled garlic cloves. Layer a few of the eggplant slices on each slice of bread and drizzle on a little of the oil from the eggplant jar.

Note: Do not cut corners with this recipe. Sterilized jars and caps are a must, as are the freshest ingredients.

This recipe yields 3 to 4 pints.

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