This is perfect as a first course or makes a good addition to an assortment of antipasti.


  • 6 small japanese eggplants
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil as needed


Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil. Add the eggplants and poach until slightly soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and slit each eggplant lengthwise from the blossom end to the stem end, stopping just short of the stem end so that the eggplant splays into 4 "fingers" attached to the stem end.
In a mortar, combine the salt, walnuts, and cayenne and grind to a paste with a pestle. Rub the paste evenly on the cut sides of the eggplant flesh. Reassemble the eggplants and place, stem end up, in a sterilized tall jar with a lid. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 12 hours.
Uncover and pour off any liquid at the bottom of the jar. Pour olive oil into the jar to cover the eggplants completely. Place a ball of aluminum foil on top of them to keep them submerged. Cover the jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Submitted 5/1/06.
Source: The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market Cookbook
Submitted By: b smith

Pickled Eggplants with Walnut Sauce