Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hopefully It Tastes Good: Pickled Eggplant

Last night I canned pickled basil-garlic eggplant cubes from The Joy of Pickling book.  I have absolutely no idea what it's going to taste like since I've never had pickled eggplant, but I figured I would try it out.  I don't know how this recipe will taste since you need to wait a week before you eat them. 

It wasn't from a small-batch canning book, but it ended up being smaller rather than larger.  It only took two eggplant and made 5 half-pint jars.  It was supposed to make 6 jars, but that last one wasn't full enough and the others needed more, so I used that less-full jar to get the others filled to the top. 
Blanching the eggplant cubes in vinegar. 

The recipe was really quick, I was done in less than an hour.  It took me about 15 minutes to pull out the jars and lids, find all the rest of my canning equipment like the jar lifter and funnel, and set up my cooking equipment.  I made one substitution, the recipe called for white wine vinegar, which I didn't have because when I originally skimmed the recipe, I thought it said regular white vinegar.  The flavor will be a bit more plain, but that might be ok. 

I tried a new trick for canning this time.  Usually it's recommended to use a rack in your water bath to protect the jars from bouncing around as they boil, but I don't have a rack so I added a silicone potholder to the bottom of the pot.  I don't actually like the silicone potholders to lift things since they seem slippery and I don't feel like I have a good grip on stuff, so this was a good way to use it.  The only other way I use them is occasionally as trivets, but even then I'm not fond of them since they're not very thick and I'm afraid the hot dishes are still too close to the table/counter and will cause damage. 
Blanched eggplant cubes mixed with garlic and basil.

I'm glad I'm comfortable with canning now, I understand the process and I know what I'm doing.  I think my first time canning took a few hours because I had to read and re-read the instructions several times to ensure I wasn't going to make a mistake.  Now I'm a lot more confident and it flows really well.
Steamy canning process.
I especially like that it wasn't a big batch so I could put it in a few small jars and wouldn't end up having to open a huge jar of pickles and then take forever to eat it. 
Sonny D and Husband Jeff sharing a carrot from our garden.
While I was cooking this up after dinner, Sonny D and Husband Jeff were out around the neighborhood having fun.  Their route back home took them through the back yard and they picked  a carrot in our garden.  (the only one big enough to eat!)

One garden thing I need to remember for next year is to definitely put plants into tomato cages or tie them up to a trellis for support.  So many of our plants are drooped over on the ground and all our good food is going to waste while the animals eat them.  And the Asian beetles completely ravaged all my basil.  Last year we had an amazing bumper crop of basil, this year it looks like I will barely have enough left to make a decent batch of pesto after I harvested a bit for this recipe. 
The final product. 
My next pickling adventure is spicy pickled jalapeƱos. Those should be fun. 

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!