What a gorgeous Fall we are having here in North Georgia. This has always been my most favorite times of the year although, because of the drought, we have not been able to enjoy picnics on the lake, one of our favorite pastimes.
If you are a football fan, and I"m not, you are probably out tailgating with friends and family at the numerous college games all over the country. Or just driving around with a picnic lunch in the back seat. If you are not, there is something wrong with you. Do try to get out there and enjoy this gorgeous weather. Pretty soon you will be home bound with snow up to your ears and the mother of all cabin fevers. Remember last winter?
This is one of those recipes that is easy to make and great to have around in case of unexpected guests. It goes well with the French meatloaf for a picnic or as an appetizer at a tailgating event or a Sunday lunch with friends and family.
Japanese eggplant have thinner skins and a sweeter flavor than their American counterparts. They are perfect for this recipe, thus, substitutions are not encouraged.
There is no need to peel the skin of Japanese eggplants, as it will soften with cooking. Slicing, placing in a brine solution and draining, as with common eggplant, is also not needed. Simply cut and cook to your liking.
They are available from July until October so go get some and start making a batch. A great addition served with a crusty baguette at your next tailgate picnic!
This recipe makes one pint.
2 Japanese eggplants (3/4 pound), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds
2 tablespoons fine sea salt
1 cup water
3/4 cup white wine vinegar (7 percent acidity)
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
1 garlic clove, gently smashed and peeled
10 pitted green olives
2 teaspoons salt-packed capers, rinsed, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, then rinsed again
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 fresh arbol or small serrano chile
About 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Put eggplant pieces in a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Fill a bowl, slightly smaller than colander, with water and place bowl on top of eggplant. Let eggplant stand, covered, at room temperature for 6 hours. (Eggplant will turn brown.) Discard liquid in bowl.
Gently squeeze out any excess water from eggplant. In a large saucepan, combine eggplant, remaining tablespoon salt, 1 cup water, vinegar, wine, coriander and garlic; bring mixture to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Drain eggplant slices; discard brine. Transfer slices to prepared baking sheet and let drain and cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, finely chop together olives, capers, parsley and chile.
Layer eggplant slices and olive mixture in a clean, dry 1-pint jar, or other container, with a tight-fitting lid. Add just enough oil to cover eggplant, and secure with lid. Preserved eggplant keeps, chilled, for 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving.
La Cucina Italiana