Chef John's Eggplant Escabeche


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 cloves finely crushed garlic
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • ⅔ cup water
  • ¾ cup peeled and sliced roasted sweet and/or hot peppers
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Trim ends of eggplant; peel, leaving stripes of skin intact. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Transfer to a large bowl. Add sliced zucchini to bowl. Toss eggplant and zucchini with 2 tablespoons kosher salt and let sit until water begins to release, about 15 minutes.


  • Step 2

    Whisk olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, and dried oregano together in a bowl.

  • Step 3

    Rinse salt from veggies in a colander with fresh water. Set aside to drain well.

  • Step 4

    Place vinegar and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Place drained vegetables into pan. Cook covered until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes, turning after the first minute. Remove from heat; transfer to a strainer reserving the cooking liquid.

  • Step 5

    Place cooked eggplant and zucchini into large bowl. Add chopped roasted peppers, 1/4 cup of the vinegar cooking liquid, freshly chopped Italian parsley and fresh oregano. Pour in garlic oil mixture. Stir gently but thoroughly with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

  • Step 6

    Before serving, drizzle vegetable oil over the mixture.

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