Egglants Preserved in Oil

(“Melanzane Sott'olio” -“Milinciani sutt’ Oghiu”)

 

Olives, cheeses, giardiniera, salted anchovies or sardine are a must in a Sicilian pantry and preserved eggplants, garnished with fresh extra virgin olive oil and peperoncino (hot pepper) will compliment and enhance greatly a lunch or the assortment of appetizers for your formal dinner.
Enjoy the eggplants in oil, as a garnish or stuff it in your cold cut sandwiches, and you will discover new dimensions in the taste and aroma of a simple panino imbottito.
To make eggplants for longer conservation:

 

 

 INGREDIENTS

  • 4 small Italian eggplants (1 ½ lb.)

  • 1 cup of canola or corn oil

  • 4 cups of water

  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar

  • pinch of oregano

  • bunch of mint leaves

  • 6 bay leaves

  • 2 teaspoons of salt

  • salt and pepper

  • garlic and olive oil to garnish

 

 

PREPARATION

Remove stalks, peel and slice eggplants horizontally ½ inch thick.
Cut each slice long-ways into strips about ½ inch wide and about 2 ½ inches long.
In a stainless steel pot, bring the water to a boil with 2 full teaspoons of salt, bay leaves and the vinegar. 
Place the sliced eggplants, afew at a time, into the boiling water.
After 2 to 3 minutes, using a skimmer lift and place in a colander.
As soon as the eggplants are cool, squeeze them with the skimmer or with your hands to remove excess water, pat dry using a rag or paper towels and place in a large bowl.
Dress eggplants with canola or corn oil and season with oregano, pepper, the mint and 3 bay leaves.
Place in a glass jar, and press down lightly, if necessary add more oil so that eggplants are completely covered. 
Close tight and store in a cool place, preferably refrigerated. 
You can preserve eggplants for about 45 days.
Serve at room temperature garnished with olive oil and sliced garlic.