Marinated Eggplant – Melanzane Sott’ Olio

I picked all the eggplant from the garden and decided to make a famous Calabrese snack – Marinated Eggplant.

This recipe demonstrates how versatile eggplant really is, a perfect addition to antipasto or try a fork full on a sandwich!


6 medium eggplants
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
8 fresh basil leaves
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoon crushed red chile peppers
Coarse salt
Extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Trim the stems from the eggplants and peel them. Cut the eggplants in half crosswise, then into slices no thicker than ¼ inch. Cut each slice into ½ inch wide strips.
  2. Place the strips in a bowl, sprinkle with coarse salt and toss.
  3. Place the strips in a perforated pan or colander and allow them to drain at room temperature for no less than 4 hours. (My mother would cover the strips with a clean apron and then place a weight on top so the eggplant would drain thoroughly).
  4. Grab a handful of eggplant at a time and squeeze between the palms of your hands to remove excess moisture.
  5. Place the eggplant strips in a bowl and add the vinegar. Toss thoroughly and let rest for one hour.
  6. Select a Mason jar large enough to fit the eggplant strips.
  7. Layer the eggplant in the jar, evenly distributing the basil leaves, garlic slices, and red chile pepper. Press down on the eggplant and pour enough olive oil to cover. Close and refrigerate. The eggplant will absorb some of the oil with time so add more oil as needed. Let the eggplant marinate for several days before eating. Refrigerated they will keep for months.


Recipe taken from Ricette di Maria – Maria’s Recipes by Giovanni Cucullo