My fridge is full of condiments; on any given day you can feel like you’re eating party food or at least rummage something up by opening 23 jars on the kitchen table. Dinner can be orchestrated within minutes, should the need arise. Being a busy and social couple, the need arises often. Cue the preserves! This is how to start making some of your own.
You will need:
- 1 medium aubergine
- rock salt
- some slices of lemon
- extra virgin olive oil
You will also need a clean jar to store the aubergines in.
Prepare the aubergine by cutting into strips as shown below. Place in a colander with plenty of rock salt and cover with a heavy object to weigh it down. Return to it 20 minutes (or more) later and rinse thoroughly. Place in the grill a about 180 degrees, turning regularly until they start to brown.
Let them cool completely. Chop up into bite size chunks.
In a clean jar start by placing a slice of lemon at the bottom. Wash both the lemon and the jar very very well. Very well. We are preserving vegetables not bacteria or fungi.
Pile up the aubergine bits and some tablespoons of vinegar. I’d day about 1 inch of vinegar poured into the jar is fine. Keep adding the aubergines and pressing down and every now and then add more lemon bits.
When you’ve filled the jar pour olive oil slowly so that it fills the gaps. You will need to poke a clean knife through to eliminate the air bubbles and it will help to close the jar and turn it upside down a couple of times too. You may want to add a chili pepper into your mix to make it spicier.
Place it in the fridge and return to it after a couple of hours to see if you need to top it up with oil. Store in the fridge and always use a clean fork when removing some aubergines from the oil mixture to avoid contamination.
See that air bubble? Kill it!