Preserving the bounty of the harvest is the habit of all great food cultures, starting as necessity and blossoming into artisanal craft-work as the society becomes richer and more food savvy. This recipe comes from Campania, and it represents their faves of late-summer garden riches.
Yield: Makes 4 servings
2 eggplant (about 1 pound total), cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
2 medium zucchini (about 1½ pounds total), cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the vegetables
2 red and 2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into quarters
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ cup small green olives
½ cup small black olives
1 salt-packed anchovy, filleted, rinsed, and chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano or mint
1. Sprinkle the eggplant and zucchini slices with the salt and arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Cover with a second baking sheet, weight the sheet with cans or other heavy weights, and let sit for 2 hours.
2. Preheat the grill or broiler.
3. Pat the eggplant and zucchini slices dry with paper towels and brush them on both sides with olive oil. Place on the grill or on a baking sheet under the broiler and cook, turning once, for 5 minutes on each side, or until dark golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm. Brush the pepper wedges with olive oil, place skin side down on the grill or skin side up on the baking sheet, and cook until blackened and blistered, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to the bowl and cover again.
4. In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup olive oil, the vinegar, garlic, olives, anchovies, and oregano and mix well. Pour the mixture over the hot vegetables and immediately cover with aluminum foil. Set aside at room temperature to marinate overnight before serving.
To store, pack the vegetables tightly into a widemouth jar and cover with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate; they should keep for several weeks in the fridge if you can keep your hands out of the jar. Serve at room temperature.