Did you know that in early European cultures eggplants were thought to exhibit a bitter disposition? “… eggplant held the undeserved and inauspicious reputation of being able to cause insanity, leprosy and cancer.” Come on, give the poor aubergines a break. Two memories come to mind when thinking eggplant: 1) the first time I ever tasted eggplant parmesan prepared by a friend at a hostel in Monteverde, Costa Rica, and 2) the first time I ever tried to cook eggplant. Both memories are on completely different sides of the good/bad spectrum. The gooey cheesy amazingness of a home-cooked meal after months of traveling versus not knowing that salting eggplant was a thing. “Erin, I’m sorry, but this eggplant tastes really bad, let’s go get pizza?” Oops…
If you’ve noticed the absence of blog posts since last week it’s because of these damn eggplants. You could say I’ve been experiencing a bit of “pickler’s block”. For the year and half before moving to Durham I had what one may call a “pickle muse”- I’d bounce flavor ideas off of them, which typically led to the utmost encouragement to keep things weird. Speaking of weird: this recipe. I had complete intentions of going for a similar recipe to the one I posted last September, but then I spotted the keywords Sriracha & eggplant over at the Local Kitchen Blog. Bam! Can’t pass up a Sriracha inspired recipe. This brine is so good that I reserved the extras to use in savory cocktails. Last but not least, the beautiful fairy tail eggplants featured in this recipe were acquired from Fickle Creek Farm located in Effland, NC.
- 1 pound fairytale eggplant (washed, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1 medium-large zucchini (de-seeded, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 2 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1-1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- Prepare eggplant and zucchini.
- In a medium-large sized, non-ionized sauce pan combine all ingredients. Bring to just a simmer, cover and continue cooking for approx. 3 minutes. Remove veggies, replace cover and boil brine until ready to can.
- Fill 2 pint jars with eggplant/zucchini mixture. Ladle brine over veggies leaving approximately 1/2 inch headspace.
- Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight) and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
- Remove jars from canner and let sit on a folded towel for at least 12 hours. Store jars in a cool dry place for 2 weeks before consumption.
Original recipe found at the Local Kitchen Blog.