Eggplant Confit Recipe on Food52 (2024)


by: EmilyC



2 Ratings

  • Makes 1 quart jar

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Author Notes

Not only are eggplant prepared in this way crazy good, they’ll last you a few weeks in the fridge, which works out well because you’ll want to try them with everything. Here are a few ideas to get you started: pile them on grilled bread, tuck into a sandwich, make a baba ghanoush-like dip, roughly chop and add to pasta or grain salads, pair with grilled meat or fish, or just eat plain. And don't forgot about the flavor-packed oil: use it along with the eggplant, or whisk it with lemon juice or vinegar for a killer vinaigrette. —EmilyC

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cupsolive oil, divided
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 5 anchovy fillets, finely chopped and smashed into a paste
  • Finely grated zest and juice from one large lemon
  • 1 to 1 1/2 poundssmall- to medium-sized eggplant, halved
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 dried chiles, or to taste
  1. In a 12-inch skillet with lid, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and anchovy, and cook a few minutes until the garlic starts to soften and the anchovy melts into the oil. Add the lemon zest to the pan (I like to do this by grating the zest with a microplane directly into the pan).
  2. Sprinkle the cut sides of the eggplant generously with salt. Arrange the eggplant, cut-side down, in a single layer in the pan (if they overlap a bit, that’s fine). Pierce the skin of each eggplant a few times with a fork. Lay the springs of thyme over the eggplant, and nestle the dried chiles among the eggplant. Pour more olive oil over the eggplant until it’s nearly covered (it doesn’t have to be fully submerged). It will most likely take between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of olive oil.
  3. Cover the skillet, turn the heat to very low, and cook until the eggplant are completely soft and tender, anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours depending on size and variety of eggplant. Cut off a little piece to taste if you're unsure. Remove pan from heat. Adjust seasoning and acidity to taste with salt and lemon juice. Let cool.
  4. Pack in a large jar or storage container, then cover with the cooking oil. Tightly covered, the eggplant should last about two weeks in the refrigerator. See headnote for suggested uses.


  • Sandwich
  • Condiment/Spread
  • American
  • Anchovy
  • Eggplant
  • Vegetable
  • Thyme
  • Summer
  • Entree
  • Side

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rosalind Paaswell

  • Nora

  • calendargirl

  • healthierkitchen

  • EmilyC

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

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11 Reviews

Rosalind P. July 12, 2021

So....someone wasn't paying attention here. The video shows a very different approach to the dish: eggplant, oil, garlic, salt, thyme, anchovies. No lemon, no chiles. Yes, ingredients can be flexible, so that's not so much the difference in the two approaches. What is different is the actual cooking. The video has them in the oven (no temperature given, but it would be low), for about an hour. That would seem to avoid the stovetop/skillet problem of burning. Love you, Food 52, but maybe update the written recipe to be consistent with the video?

EmilyC July 12, 2021

Hi Rosalind -- I think you're confusing my recipe with the eggplant confit which was posted last week (as part of the Big Little Recipes column). It's here -- -- and has a video to accompany the recipe.

Rosalind P. July 12, 2021

should have added: the printed recipe calls for cooking the garlic and anchovies, and laying the salted eggplant in the pan, nothing about slicing the eggplant halves. The video has no precooking, slices the eggplant, and lets the salted eggplant sit for 30 minutes, blotting excess liquid and salt at the end of that time, and slicing it further. So another big difference. The video method looks easier and more reliable. Just sayin'

Rosalind P. July 12, 2021

Sorry...didn't see your reply. Yes, indeed, I am talking about the video, but it is inserted into the printed recipe page and I thought it was a video of the printed recipe. And both called eggplant confit. Two different approaches. Maybe mention it? This doesn't affect my love for Food 52, but just a heads up to others. Thanks for your all your good stuff!

Nora July 15, 2020

I just tried this and it didn't work for me. I used small eggplants fresh from the garden. I followed the recipe and check them after 50 minutes. The cut side--which face down--was blackened and crusty. I had rubbed the cut side with a little salt and salt was the dominant flavor. If I try it again, and I'd like to, I might use by slow cooker. It seems that even the lowest flame I could get on my stovetop was too hot. I used a heavy pan. Any other thoughts from anyone? Can you tell me what the top of the eggplant looks like as it is getting done?

EmilyC July 15, 2020

Hi Nora! So sorry this didn’t work for you! I suspect your heat was too high (as you suggested) - it should be low enough that the cut sides don’t brown at all. I think a slow cooker could work - or a low oven (around 275 to 300) for even heat. Once done, the skin of the eggplant will be slouchy and turn brownish. Hope this helps!!

Nora July 20, 2020

Thank you! Low oven is a good idea, too. The garden yields plenty so I can continue to work on it. And the oil was delicious, as billed.

calendargirl August 22, 2016

So clever to use anchovies with eggplant, Emily. Can't wait to check this out. I would put eggplant in my bathwater if I could...

EmilyC August 22, 2016

Thank you, and from one eggplant fan to another, you should definitely try this!! The flavor is so intense from the long, slow simmer. It's quite nice actually to embrace soft eggplant and not try to work against it!

healthierkitchen August 21, 2016

Wow! Thanks for the recipe!

EmilyC August 21, 2016

You're welcome! Let me know if you give it a whirl. I'd love to know other uses...I'm sure there are many!

Eggplant Confit Recipe on Food52 (2024)
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