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Melanzane sott'olio

Eggplant Cured in Oil
Total Time1 hr
Course: Antipasto, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: preserved


  • 2-3 2-3 medium eggplants, about 750 g-1 kilo/2 lbs
  • Salt,  q.b.
  • 500m 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 500ml 2 cups water
  • 2-3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh oregano or mint (or both)
  • 1-2 peperoncini, cut into small pieces, or red pepper flakes optional


  • Peel the eggplants, the slice them and then cut the slices into strips about the size of your little finger.
  • Salt the eggplant strips generously and lay the in a colander inside a bowl. Top with a small plate and weigh the plate down. Leave to rest overnight.
  • The next day a considerable amount of liquid should have drained into the bowl. Discard. Take the eggplant strips by the handful and squeeze them of as much of their remaining liquid as you can.
  • Bring the vinegar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the eggplant by the handful and boil each batch for 2 minutes. Drain and let cool completely.
  • When the eggplant strips are cool enough to handle, squeeze them again of their excess liquid.
  • Now, place the eggplant strips in a mason jar or other air-tight container, layering them with bits of garlic, peperoncino and herbs.
  • Press everything down to compact the contents of the jar, then add as much olive oil as you need to cover the eggplant strips completely.
  • Close the jar tightly and let it rest in a cool, dry place for at least a couple of days, preferably a week, before consuming.