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Posts Tagged ‘eggplant pickle’

We don’t have a lot of surplus vegetables in the garden.

Our aim is to grow a small quantity of a large variety of produce – sufficient for our daily consumption – rather than large quantities of just a few.  As a result we’re unlikely to have a glut of cucumbers, but we’re usually able to put three or four different veg on the table each night for dinner.

Having said that, we’ve had enough to do some small scale preserving, and it’s been very rewarding!

We harvested about six kilos of roma tomatoes in total – after cooking and eating, there was enough left over for a  small batch of passata and a bottle of roasted tomato ketchup

Capsicums have been a poor performer in our garden – we’ve only had a few little green ones that never turned red, but the Japanese eggplants have been fantastic!  I turned a kilo of our homegrown crop into three and a half jars of eggplant pickle

Finally, I was keen to try Pam the Jam’s piccalilli following the recipe here.  Most people make preserves when they have garden surplus, but I  did the reverse – I came across the recipe first and then went hunting in the garden to see what I could find.  In the end, I was able to cobble together a kilo of crisp vegetables, including a couple of straggly beets, some Lebanese cucumbers, celery, green tomatoes, an assortment of multi-coloured carrots and the aforementioned green capsicums…

The piccalilli (top photo) was very easy to make and is currently maturing in the pantry.  Great stuff!

 

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Eggplant Pickle

eggplant3

We’ve just started making chutneys and pickles – this was one of our first.  I wasn’t actually intending to make any more, as I still had half a dozen jars from the last batch, but when I spotted an 8kg box of firm, if oddly shaped eggplants at the markets for $5, I couldn’t resist.  I split the box with Pete D and Maude, which still left me enough to do a double batch of this recipe.

Based on a recipe from Jams and Preserves by Murdoch Books.

  • 800g (1lb 10oz) eggplant (about two large), cut into 1cm (½”) cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped and peeled
  • 50g ( ½oz) fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 red chillies, chopped
  • 100-125ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 250ml (1 cup) white wine vinegar
  • 160g (2/3 cup) white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (if required)
  • 1 Tbsp salt, additional, for salting the eggplants

1. Put the eggplant in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp salt.  Leave for at least 20 minutes (I left if for over an hour) to drain the bitter juices out.  It helps if you put a weight on top of the eggplants as they’re draining, but it’s not necessary.

2. Once the juices have drained out, rinse the eggplant well in a large bowl of cold water and pat dry with paper towels or a large teatowel.

3. Chop the garlic, ginger and chilli in a food processor or blender, adding a little water to make a paste.  Add all the spices and blitz briefly to blend.

4. Heat the oil in a large pan, add onion and cook for a few minutes until soft, then add the garlic ginger spice paste.  Cook, stirring for another minute, then add the eggplant and cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until the eggplant has softened.

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5. Add the vinegar, sugar and 1 tsp salt, if necessary, and stir to combine.  Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until soft.

6. Spoon into sterile warm jars. Pour boiling water over the tines of a fork , and use it to remove any air bubbles (you might not be able to get them all).  Screw on the lids, then boil the sealed jars in a hot water bath for a minimum of 10 minutes, making sure the water covers the lids by at least  2.5cm (1″) .

Leave the jars for a couple of weeks to allow the flavour develop.  Once open, the pickle should keep in the fridge for up to six weeks. You can also puree the contents of the jar to make a wonderful eggplant dip.

This is traditionally served with curries, but I’ve developed a passion for it with couscous and blue cheese – a bizarre combination, I know, but one I find oddly addictive!

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