Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pickling Marathon

I will be giving a Powerpoint presentation on "Pickling for Dinner" later this month at the Historical Society of Washington, DC. That means getting very busy pickling just about everything in the garden and taking photos. Our Asian eggplants are heavy with fruit...
For our wedding reception about a century ago, my wife and I presented an October buffet with tons of pickled and preserved items. One of them was eggplant thinly sliced and preserved with layers of garlic, red pepper flakes, basil leaves, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Normally, my wife's not a big fan of eggplant. But she makes an exception for this.

It's high time we planted our own fig trees. They do fairly well in our climate. Figs were on sale at Whole Foods so I brought home a couple of pints to make these delicious pickled figs with strong flavors or cinnamon, cloves and allspice.


These tarragon "flame grapes" could hardly be simpler. After being loaded in pint jars with sprigs of tarragon, they're covered with a sweet-and-sour brine of white wine vinegar and sugar, then allowed to sit several weeks until the brine has permeated the grapes.



I finally found an alternate use for those giant squash on my Italian zucchini plants: zucchini bread-and-butter pickles. The process is very similar to the one used to make simple bread-and-butter pickles from cucumbers. The resulting pickles are equally as delicious. Next stop: zucchini relish.

4 comments:

el said...

Wow, Ed, you certainly are a pickling fool! Do find yourselves a couple of fig trees though. I have two hardy ones but I am scared to leave them outside so they winter in the greenhouse. This is the first year they've produced a decent harvest and your pickle of them looks like a great way to preserve them...if I could stop myself from eating them all first of course.

Matriarchy said...

Dude! I am new to pickling, but I love the green tomato chutney and bread&butter pickles I made this summer. I want to pickle more, before the produce season ends. Do you have your pickling recipes posted somewhere? Or do I have to drive to DC and crash your talk?

Julia said...

I love the idea of pickled eggplant! Amazingly, my plants are still producing and I have more than I can possibly eat.

B. said...

I'm pickling eggplants tomorrow, sort of blind without a clue. Wanna give me a push towards a recipe? I was thinking an Indian style pickle, maybe mixed with crunchy persimmons, and more of an Italian one like you described.