Melanzane Sott'Olio (Lightly Pickled Eggplant)
red wine vinegar
red pepper flakes
or as needed
Peel the eggplants and cut them into ¼ inch thick slices.
Bring the vinegar, water and salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan.
In the boiling liquid, immerse as many of the eggplant slices as possible in one layer.
Lower the heat to a simmer and set a weighted plate on top of the eggplant to keep it submerged.
Cook for about 10 minutes, until it is soft and easily pierced.
Remove with a slotted spoon.
Repeat with the remaining slices of eggplant.
If the liquid becomes too concentrated, add 1 cup more of both water and vinegar.
Arrange a layer of eggplant slices in a glass bowl.
Sprinkle with some mint, garlic and red pepper flakes.
Repeat until all the layers are used up and cover with olive oil.
Cover and allow to marinate at room temperature for 2 days.
Serve as part of an antipasto or with any salad.
VARIATION: Melanzane Sott'Olio II: A stronger version.
Cut the peeled eggplant into 1½ inch thick slices.
Bring 4 cup red wine vinegar, 2 cup water and 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt to a boil.
Cook submerged eggplant for 5 minutes; it should be just piercable by a knife but not soft.
Drain well and proceed as above.