This has been an exceptional year for eggplant from the garden. I can’t believe how much eggplant he keeps bringing me – on Saturday he brought in another 5lbs. That is a LOT of eggplant.
Eggplant is a vegetable that does not keep well; it will freeze, but your options are limited to sauce or baba ghanoush when it thaws. (learn how to freeze eggplant.) It does not dry and rehydrate well and when I went looking for canning options I found only one. Fortunately it was a good one!
The original recipe was on a site that is no longer active. I altered it quite a bit so it’s really mine now. I use this throughout the winter as a spread for crackers, a filling for ravioli, a sauce for pasta and an add-in for risotto.
Since I make this with whatever he brings in from the garden my measurements are really on the fly and “to taste.” It takes a long time in the pressure canner as you will see and I have learned that if you are going to use it as a spread for crackers it really improves with a spritz of lemon juice added – it brightens it up considerably. It is also not the prettiest looking thing you will ever cook, that’s for sure. It’s basically mashed eggplant…so it can be a bit grey. But it tastes DELICIOUS so don’t let that put you off.
Preheat the oven to 350°
I trim the eggplants and cut a slit in the sides so they don’t explode in the oven. That would not be good. Put the eggplants in a baking dish and rub them will olive oil.
|The garlic is hiding|
Then I decide how much onion and garlic I will need compared to how many eggplants the hubby has gifted me with; I usually do one onion and two cloves of garlic to 5 eggplants. I roughly chop the onions and leave the garlic cloves in their skins. I put it all in a baking dish and add a bit of olive oil and mix it all up.
|This was one of three….LOTS of eggplant!|
I roast the eggplants until they are very soft and look like the above photo. The timing will depend on the size of your eggplants.
I keep the onions in until they are very, very soft. The garlics will be perfect.
Put the whole eggplants (if they don’t fit just cut or break them up) into your food processor with the steel blade. After you have processed all of the eggplant just put it into a large bowl.
Add in the onions and the soft, roasted garlic from inside the skin. Process this until it is well chopped.
Add it to the eggplant in the bowl. Don’t let your camera batteries die when you are trying to blog about something you are making.
Into the onion/garlic/eggplant mixture I add salt and pepper to taste. If I am going to make it “hot” I add in red pepper flakes. For some reason I can eat these. If I want it to just be mild I start my canning here.
Prepare your jars and pressure canner per usual. Fill the hot half pint jars and leave 1/2″ headspace. Place in the pressure canner and following the directions for your canner and your altitude can for 85 minutes.
It does tend to settle a bit after canning for that long. It also darkens in color. But trust me, this stuff is DELICIOUS! You could also just make up a small batch and use it right away. I did that when I made my eggplant raviolis.
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- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350°
- take your harvested eggplants and trim the blossom ends off
- cut a couple of slits into them so they don’t burst while cooking
- put them in a 9 x 13″ baking dish and sprinkle salt and drizzle with olive oil
- depending on how many eggplants you have harvested cut up onions – I use one large onion per 4 eggplants. We grow the small, thin Asian eggplants
- I also add on head of garlic per two onions
- Cut the onions into quarters and just cut the tops off of the garlic heads.
- Add these to another baking dish and add some salt and drizzle with olive oil
- Place your baking pans in the preheated oven and bake until all vegetables are very soft.
- I have baked batches as they have come in and put them in the refrigerator until I have enough to can. I don’t want to run my pressure canner for 4 half pints….
- When you are ready to make up the tapenade put the soft vegetables in a food processor and process until you have a soft paste. Keep going until all of the vegetables have been processed.
- Add salt to taste.
- You can also add some hot pepper flakes if you would like.
- This year I roasted some Serrano peppers in one batch and added them in for my husband. I am very allergic to peppers.
- If you are going right from the oven, to food processor to canner your mixture will be hot and you will be OK. If you are working with batches that you have put in the refrigerator you will have to heat the paste up on the stovetop before you put them in your half pint jars. It has to be HOT before it goes in the pressure canner.
- Prepare your jars for pressure canning.
- Put the “tapenade” in half pint jars leaving 1/2″ headspace.
- Follow the directions of your pressure canner, processing the jars for 85 minutes at 10lbs pressure if you are below 3,000ft. I am at 3,000ft so I process at 15lbs pressure.
- When I open the jars I squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice in and stir it in. It really brightens the flavor.
- This is not the prettiest food you will ever can but it is tasty.