Eggplant Preserved in Oil

by Laura FrerichsTastemaker in Residence - Recipe adapted from Mario Batali and passed on to us from CSA member, Amy.

3 lbs Japanese eggplant
1 cup salt
1 bunch mint, leaves only
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp dried acacia flowers (I used the recommended substitute, dried oregano) 
4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
4 serrano chiles
extra virgin olive oil


  1. Trim eggplants & cut lengthwise into 1/4" strips. In a bowl, toss them with salt to coat, then place them on a rack over a baking sheet. Cover with one layer of cheesecloth (or paper towels) and place weight on top (I used heavy ceramic lasagna pans; can also use bricks wrapped in foil). Set in a cool place to drain for 12 hours (overnight).
  2. Remove the eggplant from the rack & place in a large bowl. Add mint, garlic, acacia flowers or oregano, and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and toss to coat thoroughly. Layer eggplant slices/mint/garlic mixture in 2 wide-mouth, 1-quart mason jars, placing a chili between layers every so often. When nearly full, press the eggplant down and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of vinegar (1 to each jar). Fill the jars with olive oil, cover, and refrigerate for a week before serving. Leave the jar at room temperature at least an hour before serving (to allow the oil to "un-coagulate"). Will last 2 months.