How to Can Eggplant
Eggplant will turn to mush if canned according to traditional canning methods. Pickled eggplant can be made so the eggplant retains its crispness, with very little degradation to the fruit. You can make pickled eggplant from the standard oval variety or from the long, cylinder Japanese variety of eggplant. Either way, pickled eggplant is one way to preserve your garden's harvest.
Combine the vinegar, water and salt in a stockpot or large saucepan. Bring to a boil.
Wash seven pint canning jars. Add one garlic clove, one dill head and a bay leaf to each jar. Fill the remainder of the jar with sliced eggplant.
Ladle the pickling solution into each jar bringing the juice level to within 1/4 inch of the top.
Place a lid on each jar and secure with a canning ring.
Bring the water to a full rolling boil in a water bath canner.
Lower the filled jars into the canner using canning tongs.
Allow the canner to return to a full rolling boil and process the pickles for 15 minutes.
Remove the jars from the canner using the tongs and set them on a counter or tabletop to cool.
Before mulching eggplant, prepare the soil by rototilling and amending it. Eggplant can thrive in well-drained, fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. In the Bay Area, this is around the end of March. Plant eggplant transplants in a sun-filled area of the garden that's protected from the wind. Place the transplants at least 2 feet apart, in rows that are approximately 3 feet apart. Applying organic mulch too early won't allow the soil to warm up. Using black plastic to mulch eggplant can result in an earlier harvest, because it helps to warm the soil warm. Use anchoring pins along the edges to hold the plastic down. Landscape fabrics are woven or perforated fabrics that are used in a similar way as black plastic.
To prevent discoloration of the eggplant slices, dip them in lemon juice as they are cut. Check the lids after the jars have cooled. Press down in the center of the lid, if it flexes the jar has not sealed properly. Refrigerate the pickles and use as soon as possible.
- To prevent discoloration of the eggplant slices, dip them in lemon juice as they are cut.
- Check the lids after the jars have cooled. Press down in the center of the lid, if it flexes the jar has not sealed properly. Refrigerate the pickles and use as soon as possible.
- Large stockpot
- 3 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup canning or kosher salt
- 7 pint canning jars, lids and rings
- 7 garlic cloves
- 7 dill heads
- 7 bay leaves
- 5 lbs. sliced eggplant
- Boiling water bath canner
- Yale Center for International and Area Studies: Eggplant Pickles
- "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving"; Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine; 2006
- "Stocking Up III: The All-New Edition of America's Classic Preserving Guide"; Carol Hupping; 1986
- North Carolina State University Extension: Eggplant
- Mississippi State University Extension: Vegetable Gardening in Mississippi
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Eggplant
- Weekend Gardener: The Wonders of Mulch