Sweet and Sour Eggplant (Melanzane in Agrodolce)

Sweet and Sour Eggplant (Melanzane in Agrodolce) ready to be consumed as a side dish or appetizer.

Our standard pickled eggplant recipe, or  Melanzane Sott’Olio, is a staple in our household, but when we crave a slightly more refined version, with a bit less work, we turn to sweet and sour eggplant or melanzane in agrodolce.

Most melanzane in agrodolce begin by frying the eggplant but our version includes a quick boil and steeping technique that yields wonderfully delicate strips of pure eggplant goodness.   We enjoy melanzane in agrodolce as a side dish, on good bread as a quick appetizer, and on lazy weekends with good cheese, salumi, sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, and canned sardines, when “making” lunch isn’t in the plan.

Delicate and tasty Sweet and Sour Eggplant (Melanzane in Agrodolce)

Sweet and Sour Eggplant (Melanzane in Agrodolce)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Unique way to consume eggplant
  • 1 liter water
  • 1.5 liters of white vinegar
  • 4 kilos (8 pounds) of eggplant
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of salt
  • Garlic (for dressing)
  • Dried oregano (for dressing)
  • Basil (optional, for dressing finished product)
  • olive oil (for dressing finished product)
  1. In a large pot, bring all of the ingredients to a boil (except the eggplant to a boil). In the interim, remove the skin from your eggplant and cut into ½ inch wide, 1 inch strips.
  2. Place the eggplant strips in the large pot that has reached a boil and thereafter turn of your gas. Let the eggplant strips marinate/sit in the solution for 24 hours. After the 24 hour period, remove the eggplant and squeeze all of the excess liquid from the eggplant.
  3. Toss the eggplant with good extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, and dried oregano. You can keep Sweet and Sour Eggplant (Melanzane in Agrodolce) in airtight containers in your fridge for up to 6 months.
Eggplant type: look for eggplant labeled "Japanese eggplant" or "Italian egggplant"; these varities are usually thinner/smaller than normal eggplant and a bit more expensive (but certainly worth the price). We also use "Sicilian eggplant" which are round and pink/purple; this is our personal favorite but may not be available in most areas.



  1. I think you repeated a few of the directions above. That or i am reading it wrong.

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