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
  • vinegar

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!


  1. oRi
    Posted June 16, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Mir…I’m gonna try this out… long can you safely leave them in the fridge preserving?? and when you need to use them do you recook them or just heat them?

    thanks 🙂

    • Posted June 17, 2011 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      It’s difficult to say how long they will keep to be honest. The reason is that you need to make sure no air bubbles are left inside, in the process of making them and also when you use them. This is not as easy as it sounds because air bubbles will hide! Also, always use a clean fork when bringing some out of your jar.
      We had them cold straight out of the jar with a salad. My guess is that you will be able to tell from the smell if they go off. Technically if you get it right they should last for months, but always have a good look at them and smell them before eating just to be sure. If air bubbles rise out of the mixture when you open the jar, you can be pretty sure that something has started to ferment and that’s not good news. Hope that helps!

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