The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Enough Eggplant Yet?

September 5th, 2015 · No Comments · Posted in Recipes


Around this time the home gardener is looking at all the ripe vegetables piling up and thinking, “Whatever possessed me to plant so many green beans?” Or zucchini. Or tomatoes. Or whatever.

Around our house, an abundance of eggplant presents a particular challenge, since my wife doesn’t care at all for aubergine. (It’s a texture thing.) So what possessed her to plant so many eggplants in her new raised beds, I wondered,  that we had a pile of Asian-style eggplant sitting on the front porch with no obvious destination in mind.

“I like the way it looks,” she explained.

Fear not: Though eggplant may be an unwelcome dinner guest, it never goes to waste around here. For I found a way to preserve eggplant almost indefinitely. And it doesn’t involve canning or freezing.

This method of keeping eggplant from one year to the next is so ridiculously simple you don’t even need to know how to cook. I’ve written about the method before on this blog, so I don’t need to give step-by-step instructions, merely a link to one of the previous posts.

All you have to do is peel and slice the eggplant into hors d’oeuvre-sized pieces, drain the water out of them with salt, season with red wine vinegar, then layer them in jars with garlic, basil and hot red pepper. Smother everything in extra-virgin olive oil, cap the jar and you’re done.

My original piece on preserving eggplant has for years been one of the most popular posts on The Slow Cook, so I’m guessing lots of people face a similar dilemma of what to do with all the eggplant they harvest when they get tired of eating eggplant Parmesan and baba ghanouj. Once it has aged a bit in the jar, this eggplant begs to be served next to a stout cheese at your next cocktail party.

The one question that does crop up from time to time is whether the jars of preserved eggplant are best kept in the refrigerator, or whether they can just as safely store on a pantry shelf. I have an Italian brother-in-law who instantly recognized this recipe and said his mother (or grandmother) made the same thing and never refrigerated it. But since the raw garlic does pose a remote chance of botulism, and Americans being both incredibly fanatic when it comes to food safety, as well as dangerously litigious, I tell people I always keep my jars of eggplant in the fridge.

Bon appetit!

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