Pickled Eggplant

Ingredients

800g - 1 kg eggplant (about 3 medium sized fruits)
¼ cup kitchen salt
100ml red wine vinegar
About 200ml extra virgin olive oil
1 hot chilli, sliced finely, or chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
Mint leaves or thyme sprigs
Fennel seeds (optional)

 

Method

Peel eggplant and cut into 5mm slices. Layer slices in a tray, scattering each layer with salt.
Place another tray on top and weigh it down by placing heavy jars or a full olive oil tin on top.
Leave overnight or for at least 8 hours. 
Rinse slices in cold water and pat very dry with a clean cloth.

Heat a grill plate to a very high heat. Brush eggplant slices with some of the olive oil and grill, turning once. Leave to cool slightly.
Transfer eggplant to a stainless steel or ceramic bowl and pour over the red wine vinegar. Lift slices gently to mix vinegar through and leave for 1 hour.
Lay out eggplant slices on a cloth-covered tray and pat dry. Discard the vinegar.

Sterilise the required number of jars. Using tongs or a very clean fork, carefully drop several eggplant slices into a jar. Layer with sliced hot chilli or chilli flakes, garlic, fennel seeds and mint leaves or thyme sprigs.
Press down well and then pour in olive oil. Using the handle of a fork, ease the slices away from the sides of the jar to release any trapped air. Press down again and then fill to the top with the oil. Seal jar and leave for at least a week before eating.

(Makes 500g)

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