‘Escabeche’ refers to the process of pickling, an extremely old technique brought to Argentina by the Spanish. Escabeche can be made from almost any produce as the perfect accompaniment to meat or simply with bread.
- 2 large eggplants (aubergines), chopped into 2–3 cm (¾–1¼ in) chunks
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 750 ml (25½ fl oz/3 cups) white vinegar
- 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) olive oil
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried ají molido (dried capsicum/pepper flakes)
- rustic bread, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
This recipe needs to be started 1-2 days before serving.
1. Place the eggplant and salt in a large bowl. Toss until the eggplant is well coated in the salt, then tip onto a baking tray lined with two layers of paper towel and set aside for 10 minutes to remove the excess moisture from the eggplant.
2. Pour 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) water and 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) of the vinegar into a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Add the eggplant and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain, then transfer the eggplant to a bowl and set aside to cool.
3. Add the remaining vinegar, the olive oil, bay leaf, garlic, oregano and ají molido to the eggplant and use a large metal spoon to gently combine. Transfer the mixture to a clean glass jar, cover tightly and refrigerate for 1–2 days before eating.
4. Serve with pan de chapa or pan casero on the side.
Recipe from The Food of Argentina by Ross Dobson and Rachel Tolosa Paz, Smith Street Books, RRP $44.99