Want to learn how to make pickled eggplant? Italian pickled eggplant is great for antipasto (an Italian appetizer tray), to top crostini (small rounds of toasted bread) for a snack, or as a side dish for Italian meals. You'll need to make this recipe at least three days ahead of time to let the flavors meld and take away some of the eggplant's bitterness, but you can keep the pickled eggplant in the fridge for up to a month.
To make pickled eggplant, you will need:
- 1 large eggplant (about 1 lb., or 5 c. diced)
- 1 c. white wine vinegar
- 1 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- cutting board
- two large bowls
- canned goods or other weights
- paper towels
- medium saucepan
- 1 qt. glass jar with tight fitting lid
How to make pickled eggplant:
- Wash the eggplant and cut into a medium dice. Place them in a colander and place the colander in a bowl. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt, then weigh down with another bowl and canned goods. Let sit for one hour.
- Rinse and drain eggplant well. Spread on paper towels to dry.
- Seed and dice the red bell pepper.
- Bring vinegar and red pepper flakes to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat, add eggplant and let simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Combine eggplant and vinegar, olive oil, garlic, red bell pepper and oregano. Place in a 1-quart glass jar and cover tightly.
- Refrigerate pickled eggplant for three to seven days.
- Serve pickled eggplant on toast or as an appetizer or side dish.
- Olive oil solidifies in cold temperatures, so you should leave the pickled eggplant at room temperature for half an hour to let the olive oil liquefy before serving.
- The leftover oil mixture from the pickled eggplant is very flavorful. You can use it as a sauce for potatoes, vegetables, fish or meat.
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