Holy Eggplant Batman! Pickles from Tart & Sweet

I love eggplant!  But who knew that 4 little eggplant bushes could produce like a zucchini?!

Before the storm I harvested everything that I could, knowing I might lose some veggies to wind or water.  I picked over a dozen eggplants.  Of course, I lost power for days and had no good way to store them.  By the time power came back I had another round of eggplant to harvest! Wowza!

The garden contains four different varieties of eggplant: a classic purple, Italian round with white skin, Japanese long that grows long and thin, and an heirloom Victorian variety something between the Japanese and our modern purple big guy. The Japanese long eggplants are the star producer with more than a dozen fruits weighing down the bush before the storm.

Some eggplant was frozen, ready for eggplant parmesan and some went to stir fry and such. What did I do with the rest? It so happens I found the perfect solution the newest addition to my library, a modern canning book, Tart & Sweet.

These pickles are bright and spicy. While not crunchy, they have a great toothsome texture.  I have snacked my way through and entire jar already.

Here is the recipe from Tart and Sweet, I made a couple of small changes adapting for what was available.

Basil Chili Eggplant from Tart and Sweet:

  • 2c white wine vinegar (I used equal parts white vinegar and white wine)
  • 1c water
  • 2T kosher salt
  • 2lbs eggplant, ends removed; cut into ½” cubes (I used ½”slices of slender Japanese eggplants)

Per jar:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 long strips of lemon zest (I used orange zest because it was around)
  • 1T chili flakes
  • 1/2tsp black peppercorns

Bring the vinegar water and salt to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt.

Place the garlic, basil, zest, chili flakes, and peppercorns in hot jars. Pack eggplant in tightly but without crushing [this takes more care when using slices]. Pour in the boiling brine, leaving ½” headspace and making sure the eggplant is covered in liquid.

Check for air bubbles, wipe the rims, and seal.  Process 10 minutes.

The co-author of the book has a blog Rurally Screwed.