Crostona di Carciofi with Pickled Eggplant and Saba
4 Japanese eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch coins
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Place the eggplant and salt into a mixing bowl and toss to coat. Then move the eggplant to a strainer and weigh it down with something heavy (a gallon jug of water, a heavy pot, etc.) to extract some of the water and remove the bitterness. Allow to sit for a few hours to drain the liquid. Then, combine the eggplant and vinegar in a mixing bowl and allow to sit for 30 minutes to the eggplant soaks in the vinegar, then repeat the pressing process. Finally, remove the eggplant and place in a container and cover with extra virgin olive oil. The pickled eggplant can be store in the refrigerator for a few months.
12 baby artichokes, cleaned and cut in half
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup basic tomato sauce
1/2 bunch Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 slices toasted filone bread
Saba, to finish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit
Lay the artichoke on a sheet pan then season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until tender, 15 to 20 minutes, and set aside.
In a medium sautée pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil then add the artichokes, eggplant and capers. Cook for 3 minutes then add the tomato sauce. Cook for 3-4 minutes more, watching to make sure the mixture doesn’t get too dry. Season with salt and pepper then toss in the parsley leaves. Immediately pour the mixture on toasted bread. Finish with a drizzle of Saba and extra virgin olive oil.