Contributed by: Bill Birner Originally from: La Cucina di Andrea's New Orleans Extra Virgin Recipes
Slice the skins off the eggplants, and slice them about 1/4 inch thick from top to bottom. Then slice across to get pieces the size of French fries. Put the eggplant strips in a bowl and toss with the 1/2 cup of salt.
Move the eggplant strips into a colander, arraying them in a relatively uniform layer up the sides. Put a bowl the same size as the colander inside the colander and weigh it down with three or so pounds of weight. [I find a foil covered common solid brick is a handy kitchen tool. ] Put the entire apparatus in the sink to drain for 45 minutes. This will remove any bitterness from the eggplant.
Rinse the salt off the eggplant with cold water. Drain it well, then SQUEEZE it dry. Put the eggplant in a bowl with the vinegar, and marinate it for 30 minutes. [It will return to shape like a wet sponge. ]
Drain the vinegar from the eggplant and squeeze it dry again. Put the eggplant into a bowl with all the other ingredients.
Pour the contents into a canning jar. Make SURE there is enough olive oil to completely cover all the eggplant about 1/2 inch deep. Tightly seal and refrigerate the jar. Marinate for at least a week; The ideal time is actually three months, and the eggplant will keep getting better even after that.