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Marinated Eggplant

Marinated eggplant makes the most delicious quick snack and is great to have in the refrigerator ready for an impromptu antipasto.

This recipe combines eggplant with onion, garlic and herbs and uses a less common cooking method that I think you will love.

Oregano Marinated eggplant on bread with parsley and bread in the background.

Why you’ll love this recipe

In this recipe the eggplant chunks are cooked in salted boiling water for a few minutes which is a more common method in Italy than it is elsewhere, I think. The warm cooked eggplant then bath in the vinegary, herby oil that is full of slices of onion and garlic. I adore the way the eggplant soaks up the flavours.


Freshly picked green eggplant in garden.

Of course you will need eggplant. I like these pale, green eggplant growing in my garden which, even with seeds, they never have the bitterness to the extent of the purple variety. I love using these for this involtini recipe by Nigella Lawson.

Also you need

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • onions
  • garlic
  • dried oregano
  • vinegar – red wine is best
  • fresh parsley


  • Cook the eggplant in boiling salted water.
  • Drain well.
  • Warm the oil in a skillet
  • Fry onions, garlic and oregano in oil, long and slow.
  • Stir in vinegar.
  • Pour mixture over cooked eggplant and parsley and stir gently.
  • Check seasoning.
  • Stand for an hour before serving.

Tips for success and FAQ’s

terracotta bowl filled with pickled pale green vegetables, toasted bread on the side.

If eggplants are very young and tender there is no need to peel. However if the skin seems tough, it’s better to peel the eggplant prior to boiling.

Does eggplant need salting?

In this recipe, you will not need to salt because of the cooking in salted water. In other recipes, I only salt if the eggplants are old and seedy.

Can marinated eggplant be frozen?

I have never frozen this recipe but it is quite possible as cooked eggplant freezes well. The texture may not be as good, though.

Serving suggestions

pale green strips of pickled vegetable on toasted bread with extra in the background.
  • use in sandwiches
  • add to frittata and omlette
  • in pasta salads
  • as a pizza topping

For an impressive antipasto platter serve this delicious marinated eggplant along with my Bruschetta with Mozzarella, Fried Meatballs, some nice cheeses, salami and olives. Combined with good crusty bread you’ll have a wonderful impressive starter or a light meal.

More recipe like this

Stuffed Cherry Peppers
Baked Ricotta
Asparagus wrapped with prosciutto

Made this recipe?
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close up of pale green strips of pickled vegetable on toasted bread with extra in the background.

Marinated Eggplant Recipe

A wonderful combination of eggplant, onions, garlic and herbs which is perfect served with crusty bread.
5 from 36 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings:8 portions
Author: Marcellina


  • 3 large eggplant cut into 2cm (3/4in) chunks, peel if the skin is tough
  • salt
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Bring to boil a large pot of salted water and cook the eggplant for around 4-5 minutes. You will need to push the eggplant down with a spoon because the chunks will float as they cook.
  • When cooked, drain well. Transfer to a bowl.
  • In a frying pan, warm the oil.
  • Add the onions, garlic and oregano and fry gently until softened and aromatic. Cook long and slow about 15 minutes.
  • Add the vinegar. Stir well.
  • Pour mixture over cooked eggplant along with parsley and toss gently.
  • Taste to check seasoning.
  • Allow to stand a least an hour before serving but best made the day before.
  • Keeps well in the refrigerator for two weeks


If eggplants are very young and tender there is no need to peel. However if the skin seems tough, it’s better to peel the eggplant prior to boiling.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Serving: 0g | Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 465mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 9.6mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 0.9mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Just as my mother in law used to make it.
    I slice the eggplant instead of chopping in chunks. looks better on toast.

  2. Hi Marcella:

    I am eager to try this recipe. I so miss my traditional Italian simple dishes such as this. My question is if this can be canned for shelf life. My parents would do a similar eggplant which they would jar. I just remember them saying as long as it is covered in EVOO it will be fine.

    All the best.

    1. Hello Teresa. I have never canned this marinated eggplant recipe so I couldn’t tell you. Covering with EVOO will seal it and keep the air out so it’s possible.Omit the parsley from the recipe. You can just add it when serving. Be sure to sterilize the jars, cover with EVOO and seal tightly with a lid. When our garden is producing again, I’ll test this and add it to the recipe. Take care xx

    1. Ciao Romana! Thank you for stopping by! With regards to your question, I do peel the eggplant if I think the skin could be tough. However if you have young tender eggplant, leave the skin on.

  3. Wonderful recipe! If you can’t get to Italy, this is the next best thing! Thanks so much Marcelina!

  4. 5 stars
    I was given some white eggplant which look like your green ones so I am going to try this recipe, which looks delicious. I’m always looking for different ideas with eggplant. Thanks Marcellina for sharing. We love antipasto. Pauline.

  5. Wonderful! Good to know about this variety of eggplant. And I love that onions are mixed up with the pickled eggplant. Much better than what I’ve been served as antipasti in restaurants.

  6. 5 stars
    I absolutely love marinated eggplants! My mom would prepare them as you have described them here… truly a wonderful vegetable! Your comment about the zia-in-law made me smile because I also use that terminology and I’m in Canada! Great post Marcellina, thanks for sharing ♥

  7. Not only do I love Antipesto Platters, I absolutely LOVE anything Eggplant! I use marinated eggplant on sandwiches and it is delicious! I usually always buy it but I’m definitely gonna try your recipe instead, it sounds incredible!