It’s been an easy eggplant year: we’ve only gotten a few pounds in the CSA this season, scattered over the last several weeks. After last year’s Eggplantocalypse, I’m grateful, especially with all of the traveling I’ve done this summer (although I have some friends who will lament the loss of quarts & quarts of eggplant bacon).
Since Tai won’t eat it, and eggplant is not my favorite either, it’s a struggle to use it up when we get loads, but this year has been cake: a single batch of eggplant bacon, handed off as plane snacks to my friends Melissa & Shari before our trip to wine country; a small batch of Marisa’s pickled eggplant, this year with rosemary & flat-leaf parsley; and the latest, and probably last, eggplant preserve of the summer: eggplant & summer squash pickled in a spicy-sweet, sriracha-and-honey-spiked brine.
What’s good (or bad) for eggplant growing must go for summer squash as well; usually we are drowning in zucchini, pattypans and crookneck squashes from the CSA come August. This year, we’ve gotten just one zucchini that I can remember (a small 8-ball) and I can’t recall a single pattypan. Again, this is not a bad thing: summer squash is also on the Hub’s verboten list, and while I like it, we usually get way more than I can consume myself, hence bags & bags of frozen grated squash for zucchini bread or roasted summer vegetables, tossing some into to soups or tomato sauces, and of course, pattypan pickles.
Next week is our last CSA delivery of the season: where did the summer go? Temps are forecasted to drop into the 30’s in my area this week: maybe it’s time to pull the last of the delicate garden vegetables and whip up a batch of spicy pickles. Happy Fall!
- ¾ lb eggplant, diced to ½-inch (I used small Japanese eggplants, unpeeled; for larger varieties you may want to peel for a less bitter pickle)
- ¾ lb summer squash, halved, seeded, diced to ½-inch
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 ½ tbsp Kosher salt
- Prepare canner, jars and lids.
- In a medium stockpot, combine eggplant, squash, vinegar, sriracha, honey and salt; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer vegetables, stirring once or twice, until just softened, about 3 minutes.
- Drain vegetables, returning brine to the stockpot: maintain brine, covered, at a low boil. Pack hot jars with vegetables, leaving a generous ½-inch headspace. Add boiling brine, bubble jars and adjust to ½-inch headspace. Wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Yields 2 pints.
- I’ve made variations on Linda Z’s original, using Marisa’s adaptation, many times in the last couple of years, using basil, mint, sage, and rosemary.
- My homemade sriracha is very spicy: if using commercial sriracha, you can add more of a kick by adding another tablespoon of sriracha, cayenne pepper or red chile flakes.
- No reason that this can’t be all eggplant or all summer squash, or even a mix of end-of-garden vegetables: carrots, cauliflower, green beans, etc.
Canned, store in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year. A single quart jar will last in the refrigerator for months.