Yeah so the title's a bad pun - but you try punning "aubergine"! haha.
I love marinaded eggplant, but sheesh are they expensive! So I decided to make my own. I saw the instructions in a magazine somewhere, but I'm really doing this from memory, and you can add whatever spices you'd like too.
Red Wine Vinegar/ Apple cider vinegar
Whole Black Peppers
Dried Chilli Flakes
So, grab your eggplant and slice it. Half a centimetre is good, but if you like it chunky you can go a bit thicker.
I also sliced them horizontally instead of longways because I like smaller chunks to put on platters, and I find that it's way easier to cut them before rather than after.
Then line a colander with paper towels, and then line that with eggplant. Sprinkle liberally with salt, then repeat with paper towels and eggplants.
Leave for 6hrs or overnight. Then make a one to one mixture of vinegar plus water, and gently poach the eggplant in batches.
Drain on more paper towels, then place in a single layer in a pan (or griddle if you have one - a griddle will give you the lovely chargrill marks) on high heat and grill till brown.
Meanwhile, crush some garlic. You want them just lightly crushed to leech the garlic flavour into the oil, but not into a paste.
Layer eggplant, garlic, whole black peppers, and some (very little!) rock salt in a sterilized*, heat proof container.
Jars and glassware works really well. Then just heat up some olive oil and pour over the eggplant! The hot oil will get the flavours in the jar to meld and be really yummy.
You can use all sorts of spices - cardamom, fennel and tumeric is next on my list to try.It is a bit finicky, and uses a lot of kitchenware, but I assure you that the result it worth it!
*To sterilize glassware, wash in warm soapy water, then place in a 100C oven till dry.