Spicy Eggplant Salad with Mint and Garlic

This Calabrian dish is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant in the summer. It has a simple set of ingredients that come together perfectly with the right execution. It takes about a day for the eggplant to marinate, but it will last refrigerated for about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks.


Time to Make: 1 day
Makes 8 small eggplants


8 Italian eggplants*
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 Calabrian chiles or 2 ripe serrano chiles, sliced thin
2 tablespoons of diced fresh mint
1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt

*Italian eggplants are thin and only a few inches long. If you don’t have them, you can use 2 large eggplants.


Starting about 3/4 inch below the stem of the eggplant, slice it into four strips. The strips should all still be attached to the stem. Boil the eggplants for about 3 minutes, then remove them and set them aside to dry for 45 minutes to an hour.

“Boiling the eggplants will make them nice and soft once you go to eat them and it will get rid of any bitterness the eggplant has, keeping it from leeching into the marinade.”

Whisk together all the other ingredients. Transfer the eggplant to a baking dish or some other vessel where you can lay them out flat and pour the marinade on top. Pour the marinade over them, cover the dish, and let the eggplant marinate at room temperature for about 24 hours. If you want to store these longer, refrigerate them after the initial marinade.

“You can also do this with zucchini and mushrooms. It is absolutely delicious.”


Cutting Board
Drying Rack or Plate and Paper Towel
Small Bowl
Measuring Cup
Measuring Spoon
Baking Dish, Platter, Etc. with Cover