Melanzane sott'olio (preserved eggplant)
( MAKES 3 x 300ml jars )
Photo by Tam West
Melanzane sott'olio (eggplant preserved under oil) is a traditional Italian recipe from the Enciclopediadella Cucina Regionale Italiana (Boroli Editore). It lasts two months in a cool dark place or the fridge, but bring it back to room temperature before serving. Use it as antipasto, or with chicken or fish like this seared tuna dish. The excess oil can be used for cooking, drizzled over bruschetta or in dressings.
- Put the eggplant into a non-reactive bowl and sprinkle the salt over it. Mix well with your hands, separating the eggplant slices.
- Place a dinner plate on top and set aside 24 hours for the salt to draw water out of the eggplant and soften it.
- Rinse in cold water and squeeze dry in handfuls, but straighten out the slices after squeezing. Place back into the cleaned non-reactive bowl and sprinkle the vinegar all over the eggplant slices. Reserve for 4 hours.
- Pack the eggplant slices into the sterilised jars putting the chilli, garlic and basil in between the layers. Pour the oil over the top until it completely covers the eggplant. Make sure you remove any air bubbles that may be trapped. Use a chopstick to encourage air bubbles to rise to the top. Check that the oil is covering the eggplant then screw on the lids.
- After an hour or so, check the oil level again then reseal.