1 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp smoked Spanish paprika
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 Tbsp chopped dill
4 Japanese eggplant, sliced ½-inch thick
1 cup olive oil
20 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
9 fresh mint leaves
1 red onion, sliced into ¼-inch rings
2 cups rice wine vinegar
10 sweet cherry peppers, sliced
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp kosher salt
Eggplant & Marinade: In a large bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, paprika, parsley, and dill. Heat 1 cup olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Working in batches, cook eggplant on each side until brown, about 1 minute per side. Add fried eggplant to marinade and toss to coat.
Using the oil remaining in the pan, fry garlic and mint until golden brown. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent. Transfer mixture to the eggplant and toss to combine.
Pickled Peppers: Return pan to the stove and add rice wine vinegar, peppers, sugar, and salt. Cook until peppers are soft and the liquid is almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. (If liquid evaporates before the peppers are soft, add a little water and continue cooking until tender.)
Assembly: Combine the peppers and eggplant and allow to marinate for 1 hour. Taste and season with more salt, olive oil, or vinegar, if desired. Serve at room temperature with bread or grilled pita.
Like it spicy? Add some hot cherry peppers to the mix.
Ridgeview Bloomsbury Brut 2014 ($42.99)
“Pickles are always challenging to pair. Champagne or sparkling wine is a versatile option that works with almost any dish. Our pick, from Sussex, England, has enough acidity to balance out the pickled peppers — and, if we drank it blind, we’d swear it was Champagne” —Derek Todd, Wine Geeks, Armonk
273 Halstead Ave, Harrison; 914.732.3333