Pickle & Preserve

Italian Pickled Eggplant

September 21, 2012
3 Ratings
Photo by thewednesdaychef
  • Serves 4
What You'll Need
  • 1 pound eggplant
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 dried chiles
  • Olive oil
  1. Wash and dry the eggplant. Cut into quarter-inch thick slices and put the slices in a colander. Sprinkle them evenly with coarse salt, then weight the slices down with a plate and a heavy can of tomatoes. Let sit for an hour, then brush off the salt and dry the eggplant slices on a clean dish towel.
  2. Put the water and vinegar in a medium pot over high heat. When the water is boiling, slip the eggplant slices into the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the eggplant slices and let them dry overnight on a clean dish towel.
  3. The next day, have a clean glass jar ready. Slice the garlic very thinly. Break the bay leaves into small pieces and mince the rosemary. Crumble the dried chiles. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the glass jar. Distribute a few slices of garlic, a few pieces of bay, some minced rosemary and a few bits of chile over the layer of eggplant. Cover with another layer of eggplant and the various seasonings. Continue until all the ingredients are used up. Using a spoon, gently tamp down the eggplant and seasonings. Then pour olive oil into the jar slowly, tamping down every now and again, until the eggplant is fully covered by olive oil and there are no air pockets in the jar. Close the jar and put in a cool, dark place for one month before using.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dianecpa
  • Luisa Weiss
    Luisa Weiss
  • BlueKaleRoad
  • LLStone
I'm a food writer based in Berlin. I'm the author of Classic German Baking (Ten Speed Press, 2016) and My Berlin Kitchen (Viking, 2012).

14 Reviews

Coco E. November 8, 2013
I have a question? I prepared this and was sure the eggplant was submerged in the olive oil, only to find after hiding it for a month that a lone slice was a little above the oil mark. Am I okay chucking the one slice or must I trash the whole jar? Thank you for your help.

Lemoni August 19, 2013
What will happen if I use dried bay leaf in this recipe?
Luisa W. August 19, 2013
You should be fine with fresh or dried bay.
Dianecpa June 22, 2013
This will be my third tome making this recipe.....what a treat to top a veggie burger or some crusty bread smeared with goat cheese!
Luisa W. October 28, 2012
Mary53, I simply put the jar in my pantry for a month (your cool, dark basement sounds great!). After that, it's ready for eating and can be stored in the fridge.
mary53 October 28, 2012
So, just to be sure, no processing at all? Just a cool dark place like my basement? Don't need to refrigerate?
BlueKaleRoad October 1, 2012
I have a jar waiting patiently now - can't wait to try them in a month! I doubled the recipe since I know we're going to love them. Thank you for sharing, Luisa!
LLStone September 30, 2012
I'm making this tonight, and am currently drying my vinegar-soaked eggplant. I have both rosemary and oregano, so hope to make a batch of both.
Luisa W. September 22, 2012
Just for a month, yes! Then into the fridge. Enjoy and thank you!!
Coco E. September 21, 2012
So, just to be clear, you can put these little pickled darlings in the pantry without a proper "canning?"

Love your site, Luisa. Yay for Berlin, books, and babies!
Luisa W. September 21, 2012
Yes, you could do the same with raw peppers! Do let me know how they turn out!
fantasticna September 21, 2012
awesome recipe! thank you. do you think the same thing could be done with red bell peppers or do they have to be roasted?
Luisa W. September 21, 2012
This is a small batch recipe, so you're only making a jar or two, neither of which would last long enough for spoilage. Always make sure the eggplant is covered in oil and once opened, store in the fridge.
lazychef September 21, 2012
Are there any concerns with canning in oil? My previous pickling efforts led me to some online sources that suggested using oil can eventually lead to botulism. You say the jar should be clean, but don't mention anything about sterilization. What do you expect the shelf life to be? Thanks!