“Something Completely Different…”

I bought three Ophelia eggplants (Solanum melongena ‘Ophelia’ Hybrid) from Gurney’s last year and thought I’d get a couple of eggplants from each plant.

Oh dear. Thirty plus eggplants later, I’d tired of baba ganoush, baked eggplant Parmesan and eggplant lasagna. I needed something completely different. And then I remembered.

Back in 1978, I visited my folks in Israel. One night, we ate at a great restaurant that served the most delicious pickled eggplant. In fact, I spent a bit of time looking around Omaha, where I lived back then, for a similar dish. No pickled eggplant in Omaha.

Now, with this surfeit of eggplant in my kitchen, I wondered if I could make pickled eggplant. I found a recipe for Moroccan Eggplant Pickles on the Feasting at Home Blog, and decided it might work.

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The Ophelia eggplants are bigger than the ones shown on the Feasting at Home site. I figured I’d need half again of the pickling mixture and three quart jars. I guessed about right as you can see from the photo.

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So now, the jars filled with eggplants sit in my frig to get cold and let the flavors blend. As time passes, the pickling mixture has become decidedly more brown – not the most appetizing color. I’ve already heard one “ewww…” but we’re into trying new things at the Coffelt house, so maybe…

For a special gardening friend: the Ophelia hybrid is self-pollinating, which may be why I had eggplants when others had none.