SEE RECIPE FOTO ON FACEBOOK/THE KITCHEN BUZZZ;
INSTAGRAM/THE KITCHEN BUZZZ; TWITTER/THE KITCHEN BUZZZ!
I learned the art of making marinated eggplant from my dear friend, Michelina Codipietro, from Isernia in the Southern region of Molise, Italy. Michelina took away my fears, saying that it was quite easy. This eggplant indeed marinates for 48 hours (it makes itself) and labor is minimal.
A great project for our current “lockdown” and a guarantee that you’ll never buy the readymade version again.
Prep time: 25-3o minutes (peeling & cutting eggplant)
Marinating time: 48 hours
Makes: 2 pint-size mason jars (each pint = 2 cups)
3 large eggplants, peeled
2 tablespoons salt
4 quarts cold water (16 cups total)
1 quart distilled vinegar (4 cups total)
Juice from 1 lemon
2 cups organic sunflower or safflower oil (for marinating)
Scant 1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed red chili flakes
One 6 to 8-quart saucepot with cover (for marinating eggplant)
Directions for Marinating Eggplant:
1. Working crosswise, cut eggplant into 1/4-inch thick slices.
2. Mound 3 slices eggplant on top of each other; cut them into 3/8-inch thick strips.
3. Transfer strips to saucepot, sprinkle with a light layer of salt.
4. Repeat with remaining eggplants, transferring the strips to saucepot & sprinkling with salt, as you go along.
5. When all eggplant strips have been transferred to saucepot, pour the water, vinegar and juice from 1 lemon over the eggplant.
6. Cover saucespot with eggplant, set on a counter and let marinate for 48 hours (2 days).
Directions for Draining & Canning Eggplant:
1. After 48 hours (2 days), working over a sink & wearing cooks’ plastic gloves, grab a handful of eggplant strips and squeeze & drain the liquid completely.
2. Transfer drained eggplant to a 12-cup glass or porcelain bowl.
3. Repeat squeezing & draining remaining eggplant, one handful at a time; transfer to bowl.
4. When all eggplant strips have been drained and set in bowl, add about 1/2 cup safflower or sunflower oil, dried, crushed chili flakes (to taste) and mix.
5. Taste the eggplant and adjust seasonings, to taste.
6. Divide the eggplant strips between two pint-size mason jars.
7. Cover with the oil.
8. Make sure you pack down the eggplant, so as not to leave air bubbles.
9. Add more oil until it rises 1/2-inch above top of eggplant.
10. Cover and seal with lids.
Storing Marinated Eggplant:
1. Place the two mason jars of eggplant in refrigerator.
2. Every time you scoop out some eggplant and serve, make sure remaining eggplant in jar is topped with safflower or sunflower oil 1/2 inch above top of eggplant. Seal and refrigerate once more.
3. Eggplant can be stored in refrigerator up to 2 months (always covered with oil).
Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real