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.
- 3 ½ c. white vinegar
- 3 ½ c. water
- 1/3 c. canning salt or kosher salt
- 7 cloves of garlic
- 7 heads of dill
- 7 bay leaves
- 5 lbs eggplants (about 10-12 eggplants)
- Peel the eggplants and cut off the ends. Slice the plants into 1/4” slices, making sure you cut them lengthwise to achieve the appearance of thin French fries. You might have to cut them in half if your eggplants are too long.
- Next, put the eggplant slices in a colander with a bowl underneath. Put the salt onto the slices, massaging the mixture into the eggplant slices. Let them sit for about four hours – you may need to return to the slices to turn them and squeeze liquid out every now and then.
- After this time has elapsed, you should rinse the slices well and place them in a boiling mixture of the vinegar and water. Place them there for about three minutes and then remove the eggplant from the liquid. Squeeze out any more excess liquid.
- Next, you will need to pack the eggplant into clean jars. Add your herbs as you go, pressing down as you work so that everything is nicely packed. If you have any ingredients that aren’t covered, add more vinegar and water until they are. Leave about ¾” of headspace at the top of the jar.
- If you want, you can also choose to add your herbs to the boiling vinegar and water mix before you add the mixture to the jar. If you do this, just let it simmer for about 20 minutes. This will give your pickled eggplant a richer flavor.
- Allow your eggplant to remain in the unopened pickling jar for at least 3 days for the best flavors. Store it in the refrigerator, or can it for longer preservation.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 66 / cup
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.
Rebekah is a part-time homesteader. On her 22 acres, she raises chickens and bees, not to mention she grows a wide variety of veggies.