The last of summer eggplant are pickled for long keeping, in the Moroccan tradition. Eggplants are slit lengthwise , crisscross, with stems still attached, them simmered in a savory pickling liquid infused with garlic cloves and whole coriander seeds until meltingly tender. They are put in a jar and kept in the pickling liquid, in the fridge- until ready to serve. Before serving, drizzle with a good quality olive oil and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro leaves. A zesty condiment to most any meal, these flavorful Moroccan eggplant pickles can be thought of as a chilled eggplant “salad”, of sorts. They are especially delicious, paired with middle eastern style meals or grilled meats like chicken shawarma. Look for smaller varieties of eggplants, in various colors, for the best visual effect.
On the home front…we catered our very last wedding of the season last weekend- whew! I have been happily taking a little time off, being at home, content with cleaning, organizing, rearranging and de-cluttering. This is the time of year Brian goes on his annual backpacking trip with his buddies, and I get the house all to myself for one whole glorious week and it has been heavenly. How good and healthy it is, for relationships to have a little breathing space, like oxygen to a fire.
Moroccan Eggplant Pickles
Picked Eggplants in the Moroccan tradition, drizzled with Olive oil and cilantro
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 ¼ cups distilled white vinegar (5 percent acidity)
2 ½ Cups water
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
5 large garlic cloves, halved
1 ½ lbs assorted fairytale eggplants, with stems
olive oil and cilantro for serving
In a medium pot, bring first 6 ingredients to a simmer. Slit each eggplant from blossom end almost to stem end twice, crosswise, so that eggplant splays into four “fingers” attached to stem end.
Place eggplant in simmering liquid and gently simmer 8-10 minutes or until eggplant is tender.
Using tongs place eggplant in a jar, stems up, and pour pickling liquid over top. Refriderate 12 hours.
To serve, place eggplant on a platter, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cilantro. Makes one quart jar, and keeps up to 3 weeks in the fridge.
Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 15 mins Total time: 25 hour Yield:1 Quart jar