No vinegar is needed to “pickle” this versatile vegetable—just a little spice and a good olive oil.
Yield: makes 4-6
- 4-6 small Japanese eggplants
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. ground walnuts
- 1⁄2 tsp. cayenne
- Olive oil to cover
- Poach eggplants in gently boiling water for 5-10 minutes or until slightly soft. Slit each eggplant from blossom end almost to stem end twice, so that eggplant splays into four "fingers" attached to stem end.
- Mix salt, walnuts, and cayenne in food processor into a smooth paste. Rub paste on exposed eggplant flesh, reassemble the eggplants, and place in a tall jar, stem ends upward, for 12 hours.
- Discard brine at bottom of jar. Fill jar with oil, covering eggplants completely. A ball of foil on top of eggplants will keep them submerged.
- Close jars, and pickle for 10-14 days. Refrigerated, they will keep for 2 weeks.