Italian Style Pickled Eggplant

- 2 medium size eggplants
- salt, to taste
- 1 cup white vinegar (or cider vinegar), divided
- 2 cups water
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- A handful of fresh parsley, stems removed, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 to 1 1/2 cup of olive oil

Slice the eggplants into rounds of about 3cms thick. Layer the rounds in a colander and sprinkle each layer liberally with kosher salt.

Place the colander in the sink, and leave for about an hour. The salt helps remove excess water and some of the bitterness from the eggplant.
If possible, cover with a dish that fits in the colander, and place something heavy on top to weigh the dish down. That will help speed up the process.

Squeeze the eggplant with your hands to drain out any remaining excess moisture.

Transfer the eggplant to a large pot. Cover with 3/4 cups of the vinegar and the water. Bring to a boil, and as soon as it bubbles, remove the pot from heat and allow the eggplant to cool in the water. Drain.

In a large bowl, place the sliced garlic, parsley, optional red pepper flakes, and oregano.

Squeeze again as much water out of the eggplant as you can and add it to the bowl with the other ingredients. Pour in at least 1 to up to 1 1/2 cups of olive oil and the remaining 1/4 cup of vinegar. Carefully mix all ingredients.

Transfer all this mixture to a clean one pint jar, or 2.. Press down well to remove any air.
Pour in as much olive oil as needed so that all the eggplant is totally submerged. Close the lid and store in the fridge. They should be ready to eat in 24 hours.

Serve on an antipasto platter, or with toast, crackers or pita bread.

*Tip, Don't overfill the jars with eggplant, it's better to leave a space of 3 cm of the rim of the jar and fill it up with olive oil.

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