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Let’s try something new and Italian this week–something to add to an Italian combo grinder, sandwich or antipasto. I made a batch today and am eagerly awaiting a killer sandwich later this week! It’s very easy to make, just a matter of waiting between steps.

MARINATED EGGPLANT

1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 eggplant (1 to 1.25-lb.)
1 jalapeno in slices
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
Fresh parsley (you can also use fresh mint, fresh oregano or dried oregano)

To boil:
2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
Peel eggplant. Slice into thin strips, then cut again so they’re like thin french fries.

Set eggplant strips in a colander, sprinkle with Kosher salt. Toss with your hands to distribute the salt evenly.

Set colander inside a large bowl, then place another bowl on top of the eggplant with a heavy can inside (I used a can of crushed tomatoes) to weigh it down. Set aside for four hours at room temperature. Give the eggplant strips a gentle squeeze by the handful before you boil them.Before we get too far ahead, sterilize (run through the dishwasher) two 8 oz. glass jars or containers.In a saucepan, bring water and vinegar to a boil. Add eggplant and continue to boil, stirring occasionally till eggplant is tender–2 to 3 minutes only.
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Drain in colander promptly, then set colander inside a bowl. Once again, place another bowl on top of the eggplant with a heavy can inside to weigh it down. Continue to drain, covered for about 2-3 hours on the counter. Gently squeeze eggplant by the handful to remove excess liquid.
Coat the bottom of each jar/container with olive oil, then layer in eggplant, hot pepper rings, garlic and parsley. Repeat till the jar is almost full, leaving enough room to top with additional olive oil. Look at all the pretty colors! It could only possibly be prettier if you grabbed a red hot pepper instead of a green one. Sadly, all the red hots at the store were looking pathetic yesterday. But you might be able to create your own Italian flag of marinated produce–2 cups’ worth!
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How many days before I dig in? Tick-tock, tick-tock! 😀 Not too many, I don’t think…but I’ll try to give it a couple of days for the flavors to meld together. So, till Tuesday, amici (if not before!)!
 

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