Who doesn’t love pickled vegetables? I know I do! But I sometimes get bored eating the traditional types of pickled vegetables, like cucumbers, onions, peppers, and beets. I want to try something different!
Pickled eggplant is not only delicious – and a great way to use up all of that extra eggplant from the garden – but it’s also highly nutritious. Pickled foods are great for your digestive health, and they make the perfect accompaniments to just about any type of meal (and, you know, they’re great on their own, too!).
You can pickle any type of eggplant you want. Pickling is a great way to use up older eggplants or those that are less desirable for other applications, like dehydration and freezing. Pickling makes your eggplant crispy and tender, so you can use any type of eggplant you want – even ones that have sat in the refrigerator for a bit too long.
That being said, the best pickled eggplant will always be made out of the highest-quality ingredients. Therefore, you should select eggplants that are firm and ripe, as well as those that are free from any kind of blemishes.
Here’s how you can make your own pickled eggplant at home.
Canning Pickled Eggplant Recipe
- 3 ½ cups water
- 3 ½ cups white vinegar
- 1/3 cups kosher salt
- 7 dill heads
- 7 garlic cloves
- 7 bay leaves
- 5 lbs eggplants roughly 10-12 eggplants
- Start by mincing your garlic and chopping your dill, if needed, and then move on to your eggplant. You can dice the eggplant into cubes or slices – it’s up to you.
- Next, put your vinegar and water into a stockpot. Bring them to a boil. While you are doing this, you should also be washing seven pint canning jars.
- While you are preparing your brine, you can also be sterilizing your jars and bands. You do not need to sterilize the lids, although you can, if you like, by dropping them in a pot of boiling water. The jars and bands can be sterilized by running them through the sanitize cycle on the dishwasher, or by boiling them, too, in pots of hot water.
- Once the brine reaches a boil, start filling your jars. Put one clove of garlic or its chopped equivalent, a head of dill, and a bay leaf in each jar.
- Once the jars are filled with herbs, you can go ahead and add your sliced eggplant. You can then add the pickling solution of water and vinegar to each jar, bringing it to about 1/4” of the top of the jar.
- Before you tighten the bands, make sure there are no air bubbles. Remove them and adjust for headspace if needed.
- Once the jars are filled and the air bubbles are removed, put the lids and bands on your jars. Tighten them until they are finger-tight.
- Wipe the rims of your jars so that there isn’t any food around the edges to contaminate your canner.
- In a water bath canner, bring your water to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling, add your jars. Process them for fifteen minutes, adjusting for altitude as needed.
- When the time has finished up, you can go ahead and remove the jars from the canner with a set of tongs. Place them on a clean rag to cool – don’t place them directly on a countertop, as this can lead to breakage.
- As your jars sit and cool, you may hear popping noises. This isn’t anything to worry about, but is instead a sign that your jars are sealing. Allow the jars to cool for about 12 to 24 hours before you open them.
- 7 pint jars, plus rings and lids
- Jar lifter
- Water bath canner
Using Pickled Eggplant
Pickled eggplant can be canned, or it can be kept in the refrigerator. In most cases, it will last for a week or more there (although it may start to lose crunch and flavor after that first week). Pickled eggplant tastes great in pasta salads as well as on freshly toasted bread.
The best recommendation for using pickled eggplant? Don’t get impatient – and make sure you wait the appropriate amount of time before opening your jars of pickle eggplant! Ideally, you should wait at least a week before opening a jar so that the flavors really have time to percolate in the jars.
Now that you know how to pickle eggplant, I’m sure you are going to want to give it a try. You can pickle any type of eggplant, and it will make a fantastic addition to the crudité table at your next dinner party – I guarantee it!
Want to learn more about some other ways you can preserve eggplant? Make sure you check out our comprehensive list of the best ways to preserve eggplant. Also, You can find instructions on how to can pickled eggplant in this article.
Rebekah is a full-time homesteader. On her 22 acres, she raises chickens, sheep and bees, not to mention she grows a wide variety of veggies. She has a huge greenhouse and does lots of DIY projects with her husband in her ever-growing homesteading endeavor.