Marinated Eggplant is first cooked in vinegar, so it is much like an eggplant pickle. A bit of garlic and a few chile flakes give it plenty of flavors, making it perfect for serving alongside salads or simply spreading on crispy toasts or fresh baguette.
- 2 pounds eggplant
- 1/4 cup fine sea salt
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar (or cider vinegar)
- 5 cloves garlic
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
- Optional: 1 tablespoon rosemary (or thyme, mint, or oregano)
- 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Peel eggplant and cut into 3-inch-long but 1/2-inch-thick square sticks. Toss with salt, set in a colander over a bowl or in a sink, and let sit and drain for at least 4 hours and up to overnight (if overnight, cover and chill).
Squeeze as much of the remaining liquid out of the eggplant as possible by squeezing small handfuls of it. Bring 2 cups water and the vinegar to boil in a medium saucepan. Add eggplant and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
Drain eggplant in a colander, set a plate on top to weigh it down, and let drain for several hours and up to overnight (if overnight, cover and chill).
Again, squeeze small handfuls of the eggplant to remove as much liquid from it as possible.
In a large bowl, toss eggplant with garlic, chile flakes and herbs, if using, and 3/4 cups of the olive oil.
Transfer eggplant to a 1-qt. jar, add enough olive oil to cover, cover with a kid, and chill overnight. Bring to room temperature to serve.