Eggplant in Oil (pickled)
This is a lens about pickling Eggplants, otherwise known as Melanzane Sott'Olio (in Italian) or Eggplants under oil. I asked my Mum how to to do it because hers taste awesome!
This was my first attempt at it. The picture to the left looks like it should when it is in the jar, let's hope the taste is right as well!
Edit: I had to add a sprinkle of Salt when I ate it, I didn't let it sit in the Salt long enough to begin with, it still tasted fine.
These are what I specifically used
- 4 large Eggplants
- 1 1/4 litre of white vinegar
- 1 1/4 litre of water
- Extra Virgin or Olive oil (I used Moro extra Virgin Olive oil because I love the flavour)
- Cooking salt
Great Stuff on Amazon
What to do.
- Cut off the top of the Eggplant (the green bit) and peel the Eggplants.
- Slice the Eggplants up to resemble thin chips. (Mine aren't really nice looking 'chips', thinner and neater chips would look nicer lol)
- Put a layer of sliced eggplants in a colander.
- Sprinkle a liberal amount of Salt all over the Eggplants. EDIT: Put a fair bit of Salt, I should have put more, they won't last as long now, you can add Salt for flavour afterwards though.
- Try and squash them down.
- Put another layer of Eggplants.
- Sprinkle liberally with Salt all over, again.
- Try and squash them down.
- Continue doing this until you have finished all the Eggplants, squashing as you go.
- Cover the Eggplants and leave something heavy on the top of them to squash them down so the water comes out (I covered them with a tea towel and filled a saucepan with water and placed it on top, as you can see in image 4). This is also supposed to take the bitterness away.
Leave it like this for at least 3 hours. Why? ...because my Mum said so, LOL apart from 'because my Mum said so', there is actually a reason, all the water has to come out and the salt has to go into the Eggplants to help preserve them or they won't last as long or taste as good (you can always add a sprinkle when you eat them if required...like I had to because I didn't leave it long enough...hmmm)
The Draining process
The following pictures show what it looks like when you're draining them. The first pic shows some of the brown liquid that comes out of the Eggplants during this process. The second and the 3rd show how the Eggplants progress during the time.
What they look like during the draining process
- Once they have been draining and the water has come out of them, bring the Vinegar and Water to just boiling (an almost there boil), put the Eggplants in. When they start boiling, they should be about cooked, I left mine for about 5 minutes, they should not be too soft as they will just break up. EDIT: According to my Mum, they were a touch soft, so next time I won't be doing them for 5 mins, but a bit less.
Cooking the Eggplants
...and then again
- Strain the Eggplants, squeezing as much water as you can out. You now have to get all the liquid out. My Mum said to roll it in a clean old tablecloth or tea towel and wring it like you are wringing water out of a towel, but of course, it's up to you how to want to get rid of all the water (I may do it another way next time). Once all the water is out, spread it out and let it cool down.
Make sure the jar has been cleaned in nice hot soapy water and is dry.
Once it is cool, put it in the jar, I squashed it in a bit. Put some good and tasty Olive oil to top it off (I used extra Virgin Olive Oil), make sure it is totally covered on the top with the Oil to assist with preserving.
Some people start adding herbs and garlic at the point of putting in the Eggplants. I didn't, because my Mum doesn't and the reason behind this, is that it lasts longer in the jar (is it really going to last that long in the jar and not your mouth? lol) My Mum said it tastes good when you add fresh Parsley and Garlic just before you serve it.