1.5 litres (6 cups)Greek white wine vinegar300 gmcaster sugar3 tspcumin seeds2fresh bay leaves 500 gmJapanese eggplant, halved lengthways60 gmsea salt flakes80 ml (⅓ cup)extra-virgin olive oil¼ cupcoarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley1garlic clove, finely choppedTo serve:char-grilled flatbread
Stir vinegar, sugar, cumin and bay leaves in a saucepan over high heat until sugar dissolves, cool to room temperature to infuse flavours.
Meanwhile, combine eggplant and salt in a colander, toss to coat well, stand to extract bitter juices (30 minutes), rinse and pat dry with absorbent paper.
Bring pickling liquid to the boil over medium-high heat, add eggplant, simmer until tender (15-20 minutes). Remove eggplant with a slotted spoon (discard liquid), combine in a bowl with oil, parsley and garlic, season to taste, cool to room temperature and serve with char-grilled flatbread. Pickled eggplant will keep refrigerated for a week; bring to room temperature before serving.
This recipe is from the May 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.