My grandmother used to make these classic oil-preserved eggplants a lot when I was still very young, and because eggplants are mostly just available in summers, she and mother would usually buy eggplants in bulk at the local farmers market. They’d cook some of them and then let me help preserve the rest.
Try These Oil-Preserved Eggplants For A Mouthwatering Appetizer!
A Homemade Classic!
That’s definitely one of the reasons why these oil-preserved eggplants are in my favorites list, aside from the eggplants’ distinct flavorful taste, it just brings back a lot of childhood memories.
For this recipe, one important thing to note is that oil, unlike vinegar, doesn’t have any antibacterial properties and will not prevent botulinum toxin from forming. This is why we’re going to blanch the eggplant and other ingredients in vinegar that has 6% acidity.
What do we need to make oil-preserved eggplants?
We pick the right ingredients. For the eggplants, pick the smaller, firmer ones as the bigger ones are softer, have lots of seeds, and would simply just fall apart.
I’ve always used white wine for vinegar, but apple cider vinegar would work too, just make sure that what you’ll be using has at least 6% acidity.
For oil, some people like to use sunflower oil, but I prefer a really high-quality extra virgin olive oil, as the eggplant has a delicate taste and the flavor of the oil you’ll use will stand out. I use parsley for flavoring and aroma, but you can easily substitute basil or fresh mint.
To the cooking part
Wash the eggplants, dry, and cut them into 1 cm thick slices. We’ll salt them slightly in a colander and then let them sit for 30 minutes, so they lose vegetation water.
Blanch the eggplants in the vinegar-water solution for 2 minutes, then drain and dry them on a baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel. Pack eggplants in sterilized jars once they have cooled, along with the garlic and parsley. Cover them in oil, apply lid, and leave to sit for an hour.
Process jars for 20 minutes, making sure to adjust for your altitude. Cool them completely and check for vacuum seal, then that’s it!
Keep them in the pantry for at least a month before consuming, they’d taste so much better.
This very simple method will let you keep eggplants for longer and enjoy them even when they’re out of season. Enjoy these as tasty snacks, pair them with sandwiches, or as a flavorsome appetizer.
2 3/4 lb (1.3 kg) fresh eggplants or aubergines
2 1/4 cups (500 ml) white wine vinegar (6% acidity)
1 3/4 cups (400 ml) water
8 cloves garlic
1 bunch parsley
extra virgin olive oil
- Wash eggplants (aubergines), dry and cut them into 1 cm thick slices.
- Place them in a colander and lightly salt.
- Place absorbent paper in between layers of eggplant and leave to sit for 30 minutes to make them lose vegetation water.
- Bring the vinegar and slighly salted water to boil.
- Boil eggplants (aubergines) in the solution for 2 minutes, drain and place them on a clean kitchen towel. Do the same with garlic and parsley.
- Once the eggplant (aubergine) is cool enough to handle, squeeze them in the towel to remove as much water as possible.
- Let them cool completely and dry well.
- Place eggplants (aubergines) in pre-sterilized jars, add 2 cloves and a bit of parsley.
- Pack them tight, fill until you reach 2 cm (1 in) from the edge of jar.
- Submerge eggplants (aubergines) in oil, leave 1 cm (1/2 in) of head space.
- Place sterilized spacer then close caps on jars.
- Leave for an hour, top up oil if necessary.
- Process jars in pressure canner for 20 minutes. (Adjust for altitude)
- Turn heat off then let jars sit for 5 minutes to settle.
- Remove jars and cool for 24 hours.
- Check for seal by pressing the center of lids, they shouldn’t wiggle and must feel nice and solid.
- Keep in pantry for a month before consuming. Flavor should’ve developed by then.