Eggplant Confit

July  9, 2021
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom. Prop Stylist: Andrea Foti. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

As a kid growing up in Wisconsin, my childhood summers meant weekends “up north” to a family cabin in lake country. There I spent countless hours of my young, only-child life wrapped in a life jacket on a pontoon boat in the middle of a lake, staring at a hazy shoreline and pretending that the blurry expanse across the way was Europe and that I was a chic, important woman in the middle of the ocean headed east. As an adult living in France, my summers now mean at least some time in the south. (Absolutely wild to me, still.) This recipe was written there, a bit inland from the seaside, in Provence—land of rosé, olive oil, and insane summer produce that you can’t not buy too much of, meaning you need to find a way to use up the excess. Confit is one of these ways. Just as special as the silky, oil-preserved slices of eggplant is the infused olive oil they’re kept in. Use it to fry eggs or pour it on a bunch of other summer produce. You’re living the dream, kid.

Reprinted with permission from À Table by Rebekah Peppler (Chronicle Books, 2021).Rebekah Peppler

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Eggplant Confit
  • 1 pound (455 grams) eggplant
  • Fine sea salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 275°F (135°C). Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  2. Trim the tops and ends of the eggplant, then slice lengthwise into ¾-inch (2-centimeter) pieces. Sprinkle the eggplant pieces liberally with salt and place salted side down on paper towels. Sprinkle the other side with salt. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Blot the eggplant slices dry with paper towels. Transfer to a large baking dish, arranging them in a single layer. Add the garlic, anchovies, and thyme and pour the oil over the top (the eggplant should be almost fully submerged, but it’s OK if it’s not completely). Sprinkle with the pepper. Bake until the eggplant slices are very soft, 60 to 75 minutes.
  4. The eggplant can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored completely submerged in oil in the refrigerator.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • pamire
  • Rosalind Paaswell
    Rosalind Paaswell
  • Justine Simonson
    Justine Simonson
  • Homa Oscar
    Homa Oscar
Rebekah Peppler is an American writer and food stylist living in Paris. Her clients include the New York Times, Real Simple, Food Network, and multiple cookbooks. Her next book, Apéritif: Cocktail Hour the French Way (Clarkson Potter) will be released in October 2018. She is also the author of Honey, a Short Stack Edition. You can find more on and

15 Reviews

Homa O. August 27, 2021
Easy to make and delicious! I used fairy tale eggplants and white miso instead of anchovies which I didn't have on hand. I mixed the miso, pressed garlic and half cup of olive oil together and brushed on the eggplant then poured the remaining 1 cup oil into the roasting pan. Served it on fresh bread and on cashew butter. Will definitely make again.
brandyk August 20, 2021
Very good! The take away is that delicious oil. I had 3 pieces that didnt fit in the baking dish so I sauteed them in the oil in a pan. I admit I like them better this way with a bit of a dark crust on the eggplant. The texture is better and less greasy.
bonnie R. July 29, 2021
made this exactly as written and it was delicious. it was a lot of eggplant for 2 people so the next day or so i used it for baba ghanoush. i've never really been a huge fan of baba ghanoush as it always seems bitter, but i had some really good tahini (soom) on hand. at least 3 people told me it was the best baba ghanoush they'd ever eaten. it really was outstanding. the leftover seasoned oil really is wonderful to cook with (especially for scrambled eggs and pasta).
mindy K. July 19, 2021
I just made this a second time and both times, my guests said it was one of the most amazing dishes they've ever tasted. I mashed the garlic, anchovies and chopped fresh thyme into a paste and brushed it directly on the eggplant.
Funny story - I served it the second time with with a very high end (and perfectly cooked, if I do say so myself) grilled pork chop which was marinated with the same sauce and some warm crusty bread. My guests could NOT get enough of the softened eggplant spread all over the bread with the sauce. They basically filled up the Confit and only ate 1/2 of their yummy pork!
I do have a question though, what's the difference between this Confit base and the amazingness that is Bagna Cauda?
Rosalind P. August 23, 2021
bagna cauda (literally "hot bath") is a sauce that is used much like a fondue. Served hot over a warming flame (fondue dish, e.g.) it is used for dipping -- breads, cooked vegetables, etc. Confit is what is described here: submerging and cooking in fat, which will preserve the food for a short while. The most well-known confit is duck, cooked in its own fat. Canned tuna, at least in Italy, started out as tuna confit -- a far cry from the sad tuna canned in water here. You can get good Italian tuna submerged in olive oil -- great over pasta. Tuna confit isn't something you use to substitute for fresh tuna; it's its own delight, and what was classically used in tuna nicoise.
pamire July 11, 2021
This is so easy and so very tasty. Spread some on toasted grainy bread straight away from the oven, and last night chopped some up to add to a simple dish of orzo with caramelized onions, sautéed peppers and basil/garlic scape pesto. We all loved it. And we have all that yummy oil to find a myriad of uses for. The tastes of summer. I love paseo's idea of confit tomatoes, too. Will try that once my harvest is ready.
Kate July 9, 2021
This was delicious! I made it exactly as written—creamy, silky goodness! Luckily, I bought extra eggplant so I can’t wait to make it once this batch is done. Yum!
soosie July 8, 2021
I had high hopes. But the eggplant is just eggplant soaked -- and I mean soaked -- in oil, no taste from the herbs/garlic/anchovies, the oil might be salvageable in a dressing. An unpleasant mess.
Joan July 9, 2021
Mark this up to cancel!!!

Justine S. August 2, 2021
I had the exact same experience. I my oven only does intervals of 5 degrees so I baked it at 135C for an hour and 15. It tasted like bitter, olive oil-soaked eggplant. I just put it back in for a second hour of baking... hoping that may improve the situation. The oil tasted nice!
paseo July 8, 2021
While I have don't done this I have made the confit tomatoes (tomatoes oubliees) from the same book - so delicious, easy and useful - blitzed them up w/a bit of cream for a pasta sauce which was amazing. These will be next.
Also, it's a marvelous book.
MacGuffin July 7, 2021
275º for an hour is low/slow? I wonder what that makes my cholent?
Regardless, it looks delicious. I'd have to do it without the anchovies, though--any suggestions for substituting?
nicole July 9, 2021
I'm not an anchovy fan and was thinking of substituting it with miso...
MacGuffin July 9, 2021
Now WHY didn't I think of that??
Joan July 6, 2021
I would use a lot less salt because of the anchovies!
Ck food 52 for potlagela from Romania. !