Aubergine Pickles

Chinese eggplant works best in this recipe, however the larger, more common eggplant may also be used. Eggplant is boiled before pickling to remove the air and bitter flavour from its pulp. Take extra care in handling eggplant as it bruises and falls apart easily after boiling


  • 5 lb (kg) eggplant (aubergine), about 4 large
  • Cold water
  • 1- 1/2 cups (375 ml) white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) pickling salt
  • 6 cloves garlic


  • Place 6 clean 500 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner. Cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Keep jars hot until ready to use.
  • Preheating Bernardin® lids is not advised. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs better at room temperature than it does pre-heated in simmering water (180°F). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. Preheating can lead to less vacuum being achieved during water bath canning, and to buckle failures during pressure canning.
  • Fill a large stock pot half full with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Working quickly to prevent browning, peel and remove ends from eggplants. Cut into sticks approximately 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide and 3 inches (8 cm) long. When water is boiling rapidly, drop in prepared eggplant and return to a boil. Boil gently 10 minutes, pressing the eggplant under the water every 2 minutes to remove air.
  • Measure 4 1/2 cups (1125 ml) water, vinegars, sugar, oregano and salt into a large deep stainless steel saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • After 10 minutes boiling, carefully drain eggplant. Cover with cold water and let drain 1 minute without pressing out excess liquid. Add drained eggplant to vinegar mixture and return to boil. Remove from heat.
  • Place 1 clove garlic in a hot jar. Pack eggplant into a hot jar to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of top rim. Add hot brine to cover eggplant to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more eggplant, garlic and hot brine. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining eggplant, garlic and hot brine.
  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 15 minutes.*
  • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.