One of my favourite preserving experts is Marissa MacLellan, the author of at least three preserving books and an informative and entertaining (to an avid canner :-) ) blogger - Food in Jars.
In 2020, I had the foresight to plant a few Fairy Tale eggplants and was delighted to find this quick, easy and tasty pickle.
This recipe makes 3 500 ml jars.
Small eggplants, approximately one dozen, each fingerling sliced into four to six wedges
2 tbsp kosher salt
juice of one lemon
3 cups red wine vinegar
1/4 cup basil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Trim away the stem end off a quart of fairy tale eggplant and slicing each fingerling into four or six wedges. Place them in a bowl and toss them with two tablespoons kosher salt and the juice of one lemon.
Once the eggplant slivers have sat for an hour or two, place in a colander and rinse. Gently press out as much liquid as you can without entirely smashing the eggplant. Pour three cups of red wine vinegar into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Put all the eggplant into the boiling vinegar. Once the vinegar returns to a boil, let the eggplant cook for just 2 minutes.
Remove the eggplant from the saucepan with a slotted spoon and place it into a bowl (keep the vinegar hot). Add 1/4 cup torn basil leaves, 1 minced garlic clove (I like to use a garlic press for applications like this one), and 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper and stir to combine.
Funnel the dressed eggplant into two prepared pint jars (half pints are fine as well). Top with the blanching vinegar, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Using a chopstick, remove air bubbles and add more vinegar if the headspace levels have dropped.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel. Apply lids and rings. Lower the jars into a small boiling water bath canner and process for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove jars from the canning pot and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
These pickles need a little curing time for optimum deliciousness. Give them at least a week (if not more).