Eggplant, you either love it or not. I still recall the first eggplant I brought home years ago. The purple veggie disappeared from my thoughts until I discovered it weeks later, a moldering mess hidden on an upper shelf by my then-teenage picky-eater son M. Now he eats just about anything, including eggplant.
Recently, my friend and fresh-from-the-garden supplier E passed on to me a supply of eggplants that someone had passed on it her. Not surprisingly, the buck, or in this case, batch, stopped with me. My second batch this season, I might add, most of the first having been sliced horizontally, breaded, and frozen for eventual use in eggplant parmigiana. The rest I sliced vertically, grilled, and then served with a drizzle of Piemontese bagna càuda. Or peeled, diced, and turned into caponata, a dish I found yummy but Hubby D only pretended to like.
This current batch of eggplants had a limited life span, two weeks tops in the fridge without going south. Purple-skinned all; some were oval-shaped, others as round as softballs. After a week of pondering how best to preserve what now had become one more albatross around my neck, I decided on pickling, a process I’d done before with eggplants but couldn’t recall the particulars. Nor, did I have the patience to search my extensive collection of recipes—a three-ring folder filled with hundreds of recipes. Some written on scraps of paper; others cut from newspapers or printed from my laptop on paper waiting for the hole-puncher. Ninety-nine per cent of ideas I’ve never tried but will someday. Or not. Most likely not.
So, I turned to my next and most frequented source, the Internet, and within minutes found Marisa’s recipe for pickled fairy tale eggplant, which, after processing, should keep well on the shelf since it contains no olive oil. In case you’re interested in giving Marisa’s pickled eggplant a shot, here’s the link:
Since I used a different variety of eggplant than Marisa’s, my finished product looks somewhat different but I’m confident it will taste every bit as good, especially after I add a nice touch of extra virgin olive oil to balance out the tartness of red vinegar.
So what about you? Any recipes you’d like to share? Eggplant or otherwise, don’t be shy.