Egglants preserved in oil.
Olives, cheeses, giardiniera, salted anchovies or sardine are a must in a Sicilian pantry and preserved eggplants, garnished with fresh extra virgin olive oil and peperoncino (hot pepper) will compliment and enhance greatly a lunch or the assortment of appetizers for your formal dinner.
Enjoy the eggplants in oil, as a garnish or stuff it in your cold cut sandwiches, and you will discover new dimensions in the taste and aroma of a simple panino imbottito.
- 4 small Italian eggplants (1 ½ lb.)
- 1 cup of canola or corn oil
- 4 cups of water
- 2 cups distilled white vinegar
- pinch of oregano
- bunch of mint leaves
- 6 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- salt and pepper
- garlic and olive oil to garnish
- Remove stalks, peel and slice eggplants horizontally ½ inch thick.
- Cut each slice long-ways into strips about ½ inch wide and about 2½ inches long.
- In a stainless steel pot, bring the water to a boil with 2 full teaspoons of salt, bay leaves and the vinegar.
- A few at a time place the sliced eggplants into the boiling water.
- After 2 to 3 minutes, using a skimmer lift and place in a colander.
- As soon as the eggplants are cool, squeeze them with the skimmer or with your hands to remove excess water, pat dry using a rag or paper towels and place in a large bowl.
- Dress eggplants with canola or corn oil and season with oregano, pepper, the mint and 3 bay leaves.
- Place in a glass jar, and press down lightly, if necessary add more oil so that eggplants are completely covered.
- Close tight and store in a cool place, preferably refrigerated.
- You can preserve eggplants for about 45 days.
- Serve at room temperature garnished with olive oil and sliced garlic.