Top | The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves
(recipe, Linda Ziedrich)
When my garden produces too many eggplants to eat right away, I usually pickle the excess. But here is another good way to preserve the fruits, especially if members of your family don’t like eggplant. Take the label off a jar of these preserves, and your family will happily eat eggplant without knowing it. Many people dislike eggplant because some varieties are bitter, especially when they are overripe. The bitterness is usually removed or reduced either by salting and draining the eggplant or by piercing it and roasting it until it is very soft. This recipe uses a third technique, blanching and draining. I’ve based this recipe loosely on one I found in a Spanish cookbook written by a Frenchman, but I suspect that the original version was from southeastern Europe or the Near East. The honey is added at the end of cooking to preserve its delicate flavor. The sesame seeds are a kind of culinary joke: They look like eggplant seeds but have their own rich, toasty flavor. Try these preserves on crisp bread or crackers with cultured butter, soft cheese, or cream cheese.