Tag Archives: antipasti

Zucchini in olive oil

20 Aug

If your summers play out anything like mine do then odds are good you have some of this stuff in the fridge already.

After all, how many of these have you come across in the past couple months? I’m down to only two zucchini plants in the garden this year, but each has already thrown off a couple dozen specimens. And they’re still producing. One of my favorite things to do with zucchini is roast or grill them and then preserve them in olive oil.

Just slice them up.

Lay on a baking sheet that’s been coated in olive oil and season with salt and pepper (you can also do this outside on the grill), then place in an oven preheated to 375 degrees F. Using a spatula, turn occasionally so that the slices brown on both sides.

The time it takes to cook the zucchini varies, but this is about how things should look when it’s done.

All that’s left to do now is layer the zucchini, along with garlic slices and crushed hot pepper, in a container of some sort.

Then cover the whole thing in extra virgin olive oil and put it in the fridge. It’s best to wait at least a couple days before tasting; that way the flavors can meld together. As long as the zucchini are covered in the oil they should last in the fridge for a couple weeks or so.

I use slices of the zucchini on sandwiches (mint leaves are a nice way to top them when serving), but my favorite way to eat it has always been as an antipasti.

With bread to sop up the oil, of course.

Eggplant in olive oil

9 Apr

Get a good look at this stuff, okay. Because it ain’t gonna be around for very long.

No matter how many jars of pickled eggplant that I make, I’m always in the planning stages for the next batch. It’s my go-to sandwich condiment. Has been since, well, I can’t actually remember when it wasn’t. And don’t ask how many loaves of crusty bread I’m plowed through with nothing but this stuff on top.

Oh yeah, and it’s a snap to make. So let’s get going on that, shall we.

Peel and quarter the eggplant, then cut it into half-inch strips. (My advice is to use at least three or four large specimens, as there’s a lot of shrinkage—and the finished product usually goes pretty fast.)

Place in a colander and liberally toss with salt.

Weight the strips down as best you can. The idea here is to extract as much moisture from the eggplant as you can (make sure there’s something under the colander to catch the liquid). I usually let this go for a couple hours and frequently toss things around and manually press down on the strips during that time.

These strips are in good enough shape to work with.

Place the eggplant strips in a bowl, cover in distilled white vinegar, then place in the fridge for several hours. (I usually let them soak overnight.)

Drain the vinegar and then, using your hands, squeeze the eggplant strips as dry as you can.

Place in a jar, add a couple chopped cloves of garlic and some crushed hot pepper.

Then cover in extra virgin olive oil.

I’ll usually wait a week before eating the eggplant but three or four days should be enough time to allow the flavors to develop. And it’ll keep in the fridge for a long time.

If it lasts that long.