Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Eggplant Escabeche – The Second Best Way to Eat Eggplant

The best way to eat eggplant is fried, which I’ll hopefully prove to you one day with a video recipe. In the meantime, you’ll have to settle for the second best way, which is this eggplant escabeche. It’s cold, refreshing, vibrantly-flavored, and I’m guessing, very healthy. 

This was inspired by a visit to a restaurant in San Francisco called Lolinda, where Chef Alejandro Morgan serves a simple, but incredibly delicious Argentinian-style eggplant escabeche. I won’t go so far as to say it came out as good, but the noises of pleasure Michele made while eating this were very similar. 

If you didn’t get the #dotsnotslots reference, I explained how to tell a “male” from “female” eggplant in a old video, which involves looking for a dot shaped mark at the end, and not a slot shaped one. This indicates a “male,” which generally has less seeds.

By the way, “male” is in quotations because eggplants don’t actually have different genders, but apparently some are less pregnant than others. I’m certainly no expert when it comes to eggplant sex, but I’ll go with that until I hear otherwise. I really do hope you give this fabulous eggplant recipe a try soon. Enjoy! 

Ingredients for about 2 pints:
3/4 cup sliced roasted sweet and/or hot peppers

1 large eggplant, halved, cut in 1/4 slices
1 large zucchini, halved, cut in 1/4 slices
tossed with 2 tablespoons kosher salt 
1 cup white wine vinegar 
2/3 cup water 
1/2 cup olive oil 
2 cloves finely crushed garlic 
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano
1/4 cup reserved vinegar cooking liquid
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 


RDK said...

No pinch of cayenne?? :-)

Unknown said...

Hi CJ,

as a fellow Eggplant aficionado, I much appreciate this recipe. Will cook it tonight!

Speaking of eggplants...We're still missing Caponata, Ratatouille, the fried eggplant you mentioned, as well as one of my breakfast favorites: tortang talong!

Thx as always for the inspiring recipes!


Robin Betts said...

Is this version good to keep? I mean, if we sterilised the jars and everything, do you reckon it would store for a few months?

Martin said...

Hello Chef John, always nice to learn about a different way to use aubergines!

I am curious: Why can't you use fresh oregano for the garlic oil instead of the dried one?

Anthony Vaiana said...

Great video! I think this is a great way to use up summer vegetables from my garden, but if I didn't want to use all the alcohol could I use something else?

hjalt_uebel said...

How long will this keep?

Jay H said...

You may have addressed this already, but how long can this be stored before using? Is it something that you can put in a sealed jar and store in a cupboard like other preserved goods? Or should it be refrigerated and eaten eaten in a timely fashion?
P.S. Thanks chef John, your videos and recipes are amazing every time. I'm addicted to your YouTube channel as well as this site!

Tyler Festa said...

Chef John, where does eggplant parm fall on your favorite eggplant dishes list?

Thomas Sterling Wyatt said...

People with Google accounts are having trouble leaving comments on your blog.

Thomas Sterling Wyatt said...

Would this work as well with just zucchini? I have way more zucchini than I know what to do with, but no eggplant; so I want to know if I could use only zucchini.

Chris K. said...

I would just like to point out that aside from the grilled bread (perhaps?), Chef John's Eggplant Escabeche is a vegan dish. No animal products were used in the making of this recipe. Which just goes to show that vegan food can actually be delicious, and that's coming from a bacon lover.

I have eggplant, zukes, and peppers in spades right now and I'm going to make a double batch of this.

Maybe I'll make BLE sandwiches: that's bacon, lettuce, and escabeche, you crazy FoodWishers.

Karen said...

Chef John, There's a little typo on your recipe. The last ingredient says 2 tablespoons cup vegetable oil. I also second the cheer for vegan recipes! Every little bit helps.

ja ha said...

I wish someone would make this for me to try. It's way too much work, time, and trouble for something I'm afraid I'm going to hate. While I love the color the only way I like eggplant is sliced so thinly, breaded, and deep fried so you can't even tell it's eggplant. Lol

Sarah Som said...

Yaaay the freakishly small wooden spoon :D

Igor said...

Hey Chef John!

Great recipe!!
So you know if there is any alternative to the zuchinnis and to the sweet/hot peppers? I don't think they even sell those here in brazil.


yimyammer said...

The sour vinegar flavor overwhelms everything in my version to the point of almost making it inedible. Im sure I did something wrong as there appears to be a discrepancy in the amount of vinegar and water to add in the video vs the written recipe.

Is this supposed to be predominately sour like a pickle?

Ichaukan Shostakovich said...

I've just tried my hand at this one using dried marjoram and herbes du provence as the dry spice and cilantro as the fresh spice at final-assembly as I'm somehow lacking oregano.

Will have a full appraisal tomorrow morning, but judging from the way it smelled going into the fridge, it can't not be tasty!

Karen Francis said...

OMG Chef John, This is to die for.....So delicious.
I doubled the recipe using 2 eggplant, a large red bell pepper, plus 1 long red chilli which I left the seeds in and no zucchini. I also used a double, double hit of crushed garlic and my olive oil was lemon infused. Didn't have any fresh oregano, just used the dried powdered stuff which packs a punch of flavor.
I cut the eggplant into small batons about 2" x 1/4". It's a great carrier for all those beautiful flavours. Have just enjoyed it in a crusty roll filled with ham, cheese and olives.....yum and double yum!!

Unknown said...

Hey Chef John,

Weird question if you don't mind.
What is the cutting board brand your using in this video?


Kris Whiteleather said...

I am a big fan of anything with vinegar, and this is darn tasty.

Think I cut my eggplant too thinly using a mandolin. They went all soft during the blanching, and did not survive the gentle mixing after adding the oil and cooking liquid. The zucchini held up perfectly at the same thickness and cooking time.

I will add some diced onion to put some crunch in the recipe. Spreading a thin layer of cream cheese on the toasts before adding the escabeche make this even better.

andrewaway said...

Could you use Sicilian or Asian eggplant with this or would it be too bland?

Tina Mintz said...

We've made this now 3 times. It is amazing! Love your recipes chef john.

Lisa Kimmerling said...

I made this recipe for the first time this week and it turned out amazing! Thank you, John, for sharing with us! Oh and something others might want to try: I sprinkled a little bit of dukkah on top before serving, and it really made it pop!