Italian pickled eggplant

If you ever seen those expensive jars of italian pickled eggplant at the deli store let me tell you that they’re so easy to make at home for a lot less.

Those veggies are a served in italy mostly as an antipasto (appetizer) but in fact, they can also be a wonderful side dish for a steak, grilled chicken or fish.

italian pickled eggplant with olive oil

What are italian pickled eggplants?

In Italy there are various ways for preserving melanzane (eggplants), for example they can be frozen, dehydrated, on vinegar, oil, etc. But one favourite way is sott’olio (in olive oil).

Melanzane sott’olio (eggplant under olive oil) is an easy recipe that italians loves to make at home, specially in the countryside where you need to find a way to preserve veggies for the incoming cold months.

Before preserving, those vegetables can be cooked in different ways; for example boiled (as in our recipe), grilled or fried. The taste of course depends how they are cooked, but they’re delicious any way.

Italian pickled egg plant is a very easy recipe that you can make at home by following simple steps. But, if it’s your first time trying this recipe, my recommendation is to go with a smaller amount of ingredients.

What type of eggplant are the best for this recipe?

You might want a type of eggplant that is meaty and with almost not seeds. Graffiti, sicilian and italian eggplants works wonderful here since they’re big enough to have lot of pulp and have a very little amount of seeds.

I don’t recommend using smaller eggplants such a chinese or japanese types since you’ll have to use a lot more than the recipe calls and also those types are more bitter than the ones I told you before.

Is ok to use eggplants a little bit old, maybe the ones that are sitting in your fridge for a week or so. Just make sure they’re not too bitter.

How to eat

  • On top of a bruschetta
  • Alongside with salami, cheese, zeppole, olives, etc.
  • On a sandwich
  • On top of pizza
  • With pasta
  • As a side dish
Jars with italian pickled eggplant

How long last pickled eggplant?

I have preserved my pickled veggies for about a year. Just need to be very careful when handling them and placing them in the jars to avoid cross contamination.

How to preserve

  • It’s very important that you sterilize the jars in a proper way.
  • Place the jars in a cool, dark and dry spot in your house.
  • Once a jar is opened you have to refrigerate it and consume in the next 4 days.

The traditional italian recipe

Peel the eggplants. You can use any Italian kind, I used this sicilian type with white stripes (graffiti).

peeling eggplants

Then cut them into long stripes 0,6cm thick (about 1/4 inch).

cutting eggplants

Fill a large boiling pot with water. Add 3 tablespoons of coarse salt and the vinegar. Bring to a boil.

Working in small batches, add eggplant and let them simmer for about two minutes.

Place them in a colander to drain them and let them cool down.

Squeeze them a little using the back of a spoon, don’t do this when they’re still hot or you will mash them.

pickling eggplant italian style

Working in layers add eggplants to a jar, then some pepper grains, hot chilli peppers, oregano and garlic.

Pour the extravirgin olive oil into the jar filling it completely, press the vegetables to allow oil reach . Repeat the process until all jars are filled.

italian pickled eggplant (in jars)

Let the jars rest for about 20 minutes, then use a skewer to break the air bubbles that have formed. This is an important step as there shouldn’t be any air gaps that could possible spoil the pickled vegetables.

italian pickled eggplant. Working with one jar at time.

Close the jars tightly and place them in a dark, cool spot for at least a week before consuming.

pickled eggplant

Italian pickled eggplant with olive oil

The recipe for italian pickled eggplant is a wonderful and easy recipe to preserve your veggies. You won't need to buy them anymore at the deli store for those overrated prices because with our recipe you'll learn to make them at home in a very easy way.
PREP 20 minutes
COOK 20 minutes
TOTAL 40 minutes
4.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 6 x250ml jars
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 6 ½ lb eggplants (3kg)
  • 4 ¼ cups extravirgin olive oil (1 lt)
  • 6 ¼ cups water (1 ½ lt)
  • 3 cups white vinegar (750 ml)
  • 3 garlic cloves (peeled and sliced)
  • 3 red hot chilli peppers (diced)
  • black pepper (whole grains)
  • Oregano
  • salt

Instructions

  • Peel the eggplants. Then cut them into long stripes 0,6cm thick (about ¼ inch).
  • Fill a large boiling pot with water. Add 3 tbsp of coarse salt and vinegar. Bring to a boil.
  • Working in small batches, add eggplants and let them simmer for about 2 minutes.
  • Place eggplants in a colander to drain them and let them cool down.
  • Squeeze the eggplants a little using the back of a spoon, don’t do this when they’re still hot or you will mash them.
  • Working in layers add eggplants to a jar, then some pepper grains, hot chilli peppers, oregano and garlic.
  • Pour the extravirgin olive oil into the jar filling it completely, press the vegetables to allow oil reach everywhere. Repeat the process until all jars are filled.
  • Let the jars rest for about 20 minutes, then use a skewer to break the air bubbles that have formed. This is an important step as there shouldn’t be any air gaps that could possible spoil the pickled vegetables.
  • Close the jars tightly and place them in a dark, cool spot for at least a week before consuming.
Nutrition
Serving: 1grams | Calories: 1575kcal
Tried this recipe?Don't forget to tag us on Instagram! @maricruzava.blog

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2 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I am a regular visitor of your website . I can enrich my cooking skill by seeing your blog. easy procedure to make expensive Italian pickled eggplant at home

  2. 5 stars
    wonderful recipe! we’re about of making this because we just harvested the last aubergines from our garden. I’ll let you know how it turned out.

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