Venetian Melanzane in Saor (Sweet and Sour eggplants)
 
 
*Melanzane in Saor is a vegetarian variation of one of the most traditional venetian recipe: Sarde in Saor, which is an appetizer made of fried sardines topped with sweet and sour white onions. The procedure to make Melanzane in Saor is pretty much identical to the one to make sardines, and in the same way you can also make other vegetables like zucchini or peppers.
Author:
Cuisine: Venetian
Ingredients
(For 4-5 persons)
  • 1 kg di eggplants (ideal quality: black round or long type, with few seeds)
  • 1 kg of white onions
  • ½ glass of white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup of raisins
  • 100 gr of pine nuts
  • ½ tsp of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 glass of water
  • 1 cup of coarse salt
To fry the eggplants, as needed:
  • Ground-nut oil
  • Super fine flour
  • Salt
* For a lighter / healtier version you can replace fried eggplants with grilled eggplants, the result will be different but equally good!
Instructions
  1. Place the raisins in a bowl and cover with warm water, then soak them until needed. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over a medium heat.
  2. Wash and dry the eggplants and slice them into ½ cm thick.
  3. Lay out the eggplants in a colander, alternating the slices with a handful of coarse salt, making sure they're all sprinkled well.
  4. Place an heavy plate over the eggplants and let them purge from their bitter water for at least 30 minutes.
  5. In the meantime go ahead by washing and peeling the onions, then slice them very finely.
  6. Heat a frying pan with over a medium-low heat and add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the onions together with the glass of water and cook them slowly for at least 15/20 minutes, stirring every now and then.
  7. Add half glass of white vinegard and half teaspoon of sugar and cook on low heat until reduced for at least other 10 minutes until the onions result well cooked and slightly caramelized but not mushy. Keep them aside.
  8. Rinse the eggplant slices and dry them very well with paper towel. Heat the oil into a frying pan.
  9. Dust the eggplant slices in flour and deep fry in plenty of oil until golden and crisp. Season with salt and set aside on some paper towel to drain until needed.
  10. Once all the ingredients are ready, proceed by placing a layer of aubergines in a small terrine, deep plate or a tray and top them with some of the onions, a small handful of (drained) raisins and pine nuts. Continue layering until the aubergines are used up. The final level must be topped with onions, raisins and pine nuts.
  11. Cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge at least for one night before serving. They'll become tastier the longer you'll keep them in the fridge!
  12. Serve at room temperature and consume them within a week.
Recipe by The Freaky Table at http://www.zairazarotti.com/venetian-melanzane-saor-and-talk-the-garden-about-chiaroscuro-photography/