Nostalgia. Today I feel nostalgic for summer and I’m thinking about the typical family dinners in Calabria during the warm August nights. We used to start eating antipasti (appetizers) like cured ham, black baked olives, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and the famous pickled eggplants under oil. Eggplants are the most common ingredient in Calabrian summer dishes. People cook them in so many ways that you can eat eggplants almost every day.
My grandma loves to marinate eggplants so she can conserve them under oil and enjoy their tasty flavor during the all year. Of course when I go to visit her she always gives me some little jars of her favorite eggplants. She’s so proud of them! Well, I have to say they’re incredibly savory and that they achieve a perfect balance between salty and sour.
Try to prepare them! Here you have my grandma’s recipe!
Pickled Eggplants Under Oil
Ingredients for 2 medium jars
6.6 lb eggplants
3 table spoons of salt
4 medium garlic cloves
Crushed hot pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cut the end of the eggplants, peel them and slice them like French fries. Lay the slices in a bowl (preferably a wooden bowl) and sprinkle with salt, minced garlic, oregano, and hot pepper. Add vinegar and let them marinate during 4-5 days. Leave the excess salt and squeeze them. Try them and if they’re not tender enough boil in water for 3 minutes. Pour the eggplants into a colander and drain them. Squeeze the strips and leave to dry on an absorbent towel. Pour some oil into the jar and then add some marinated eggplants, minced garlic, oregano and hot pepper. Repeat until your jar is completely full. Then close it tightly being sure eggplants are totally immerged in oil.
Serve them as an appetizer with toasted bread and some spicy Italian sausages. Enjoy!!!