Sep 24, 2012

Recipe: Eggplant Antipasto

Eggplant Antipasto Recipe









You already know I had too many eggplants on my hands this summer. The eggplant “meatballs” recipe I featured in August was my most popular yet! Well, our garden didn’t stop producing them for some time, so we had to use another way to capture all the eggplant goodness we had. What better way than to jar them as antipasto so we can enjoy them all winter! This eggplant antipasto recipe comes from my husband’s family who used to make this often. We’re happy to take up the tradition again. The result is tasty and a great part of an antipasto platter (my favourite!).

Eggplant Antipasto
Sicilian eggplants
Dried oregano
Dried basil
Dried, crushed hot pepper
Garlic powder
Extra-virgin olive oil

Eggplant Antipasto Recipe











Wash and peel the Sicilian eggplants. Cut into slices, then into match sticks about 1/4 inch wide. Place in a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Toss and continue to sprinkle with salt until all the eggplant has salt on it. The salt will draw the water out of the eggplant, but you need pressure to also help with this. Place a plate on top of the eggplants that fits tightly to the sides of the colander, and a heavy object on top of that plate. A large tin of tomatoes would be perfect for this. Place the colander in a sink or over a  pot to catch the water that drains out.

Eggplant Antipasto Recipe










The eggplants need to sit in the colander for 6 to 8 hours. As they compress, you’ll need to change to a smaller plate to ensure the weight stays directly on the eggplant. After 8 hours, remove the eggplant from the colander and place into a bowl and cover completely with vinegar. Let the eggplant sit in the vinegar bath for 2 hours.

Eggplant Antipasto Recipe










After 2 hours, drain the vinegar from the eggplant. You’ll see the eggplant now look like “worms” – many Italian kids see them that way! If you have a lot of seeds with your eggplant, you can shake them in colander or in the basket of salad spinner to get the seeds to fall out into a sink or bowl.

Eggplant Antipasto Recipe

Once prepared from the vinegar, toss the eggplant with the oregano, basil, garlic powder and hot peppers as desired to your taste. Use a few tablespoons of oil as you are tossing to ensure all the eggplants get a bit a flavour. Pack into sterilized jars, pressing the eggplant in to remove all the air and fill with olive oil until all the eggplant is covered. The oil should reach 1/4 inch from the top of the jar. Seal with a top and ring and place in a cool area. The eggplant is ready to serve after resting in the oil for 2 months.

It’s a lengthy process, yes, but well worth it. It you love antipasto platters, this is a sure way to get a fresh tasting, organic ingredient to your table.







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  • Do you process the can in order to seal it? Or is this unnecessary?

    • No, we don’t. The reason being is that the eggplant is pickled from the vinegar bath to lower the pH level. What you should do though, is then store the jars in a cool place (like a cantina/cold cellar) or the fridge. It’s important to understand the preserving process before you start – so do some research. This page is a good start:

  • Hi, I’m Alberto from Italy.
    I love Canada I stay in canada for 1 mounth this here in BC.
    I start a blog with real italian recipes
    I would come to live tomorrow also in Canada with my family, but it am very difficult to enter Canada.
    For now I leave you my recipes.
    Bye from Italy

  • I lost my Nanni two years ago. She and my father immigrated from Calabria to the us in the 70s. As a girl, I would help her cook and preserve incredible foods … Eggplant and olives were my favorites. as I grew older I forgot a lot of the steps and always regretted not writing things down. Your blog has brought back the calabrese dishes I love, and remind me of her love. I am so grateful for your recipes. They will enable me to help my son know and taste our culture although he has never met her..

    • Hi Annalisa – what a wonderful message! Thank you for sharing with me. The goal of the blog is just that: to write down all these recipes that remind us of family, tradition and love. I’m so glad it is of use to you!

  • Hello! I must say you have an AMAZING website, i’ve been looking for italian style preserves for the longest time!! I started practicing to can with marmelades and jams, and now i wanted to move up for vegetables. I have some questions for you however:

    1 – how long do these preserves last?

    2 – to make them last longer should i put these italian style preserves through a ‘canning process’? meaning i put them in boiling water to vacuum seal and heat up the jar to get rid of the bacteria?

    Please let me know i LOVE your website!

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Tomato-growing, family-surrounded, big life and big laughs girl sorting out an Italian-Canadian life. Recipes are from the heart and the family vault. Learn more about this blog...

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