Melanzane Sott' Olio - Eggplant Under Oil
Looking for something quick and easy to do with the eggplant that's in the box this week? I bet you are. We've been Washington's Green Grocer for 17 years now (October 14th was our anniversary!) and know that eggplant is one of those vegetables that many folks are on the fence about. You kind of like it if it's prepared really deliciously. Heck, you might even go as far to say that you have loved it in certain dishes. But when you get it in your box, you look at it in it's beautiful purple skin and think, what the heck am I going to do with this to make it taste good? Here's your answer: Marinated eggplant. Here's why: 1) you sound pretty awesome when you call it by it's Italian name. 2) it takes practically no time to prepare. 3) It's garlicky and delicious and all you need to make an incredible nosh is some crusty bread. 4) If you don't like eggplant you can give this away as a gift. I haven't met anyone who doesn't wholeheartedly embrace a jar of this...and it can't hurt to throw in a nice artisanal salami too.
Melanzane Sott' Olio
one large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
freshly ground black pepper
red pepper flakes
5 large garlic cloves, minced
about 1/2 cup Italian parsley finely minced
Red wine vinegar
Lay the peeled eggplant rounds on a sheet tray and sprinkle with salt. Let them sit about 15 minutes so that they release some of their water. This will keep them from being spongy.
Bring a pot of water to a boil (no need to salt since there is salt on the eggplant) and toss in the rounds.
When they just tender, take them out of the water with tongs or a slotted spoon. Don't drain in a colander because they might break up and ruin their circular beauty that are going to look so nice in the mason jar.
Drain and cool the eggplant. It can be a little warm going into the jar.
In a wide-mouth quart jar or a hinge-lid jar, begin making layers as follows: eggplant, sprinkling of garlic, parsley, couple grind of black pepper, red pepper and pinch of salt. Generously cover the layer with oil and a splash of red wine vinegar and then start again. When the container is full, add more oil so that all of the eggplant is submerged. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. I like it served at room temperature, so I take what I'm going to use out of the jar a little ahead of time. It's great as part of an antipasti plate or on it's own. If you're giving it as a gift, include instructions for keeping it refrigerated.