Friday, March 13, 2009

Favorite Lunch


Pickles n' sandwiches- what could be better?

These are some of the pickles I made last summer, from four different jars--
--Baby eggplants, fermented first, pickled later
--Mixed hot and sweet peppers, fermented first and pickled later
--Spicy dilly beans, pickled only
--Giardiniera (cauliflower, Romanesco broccoli, peppers, garlic) , pickled only

And a turkey sandwich-- home-roasted, buttermilk-brined turkey (a really big turkey breast from Heritage Foods- best turkey ever) on my favorite farmer's spelt bread.

The eggplant was a funny thing.
I decided to leave the skins on, since they were all about golf ball-sized; I just washed and quartered them and tossed them into the brine. But after two weeks in the crock, something was amiss. They weren't spoiled, but the mouth-feel was wrong. The flesh was too soft, the skin was too toothy. The flavor was shallow and mainly metallic. But the eggplant whispered to me: give us a chance. So I jarred them up with basil, garlic, and red wine vinegar. And then, they sat. I cracked the first jar in about January- that means they pickled for 5 months. Something truly magical happened in vitro. The flavor became wonderfully complex, the skins softened, the flesh firmed up. I'm so glad I listened to the eggplant. I will always pickle eggplant now.


Kateri said...

I haven't eaten anything since breakfast and this just reminded me I am really hungry. Your pickled eggplant sounds so good!

Irma said...

Everything sounds so delicious, I am envious! My Portuguese Husbandly One hates "North American" pickles because ours taste so much different from what he remembers. He recently went to Portugual and came back with a bottle of what he loves....seems like the only real difference is that they use wine vinegar instead of "regular" vinegar. (Plus he thinks dill comes directly from Satan.) Here's hoping he'll actually eat what I preserve this year!

d. moll, said...

She Who Could Hear Eggplant Speak.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Ask eggplant for some investment advice ... which gives me an dea ... how about starting a gardner/pickler/canner advice column/blog called "Ask the Eggplant"

No huh?

kheli said...

Perhaps you should publish some pickle recipes? I would be greatly interested!

PJ said...

I love savory, tangy food and this sounds just lovely...I'm taking notes (scribbling noises...scribble scribble scribble...)