Iranian Eggplant Pickle

This recipe comes from one of my favourite cook books. I tend to use cook books more as an inspiration, but with new recipes, especially pickles, it's always good to follow the instructions at least a few times.

 

1.5kg eggplants

2 teaspoons nigella seeds

2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

2 tablespoons salt

1.5 litres light coloured vinegar (white wine is best, but apple cider is good too giving a slightly less sour flavour)

1 bunch fresh parsley

1 bunch fresh coriander

1 handful fresh mint

1 handful fresh dill

1 handful fresh tarragon

1 handful fresh savory (this hard to find if you don't grow it yourself, you could replace it with thyme and/or oregano)

 

Chop the eggplant into large-ish chunks, I make mine about 5cm. Put the eggplants in a large saucepan with the vinegar, salt and spices. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the flame and leave to sit for about 30 minutes to cool.

Wash and chop the fresh herbs and combine with the cooled eggplant mixture. Using a handheld immersion blender (or just a blender), whizz it all up a little. I prefer to leave lots of eggplant chunks.

Ladle the pickle into sterilised jars and leave for a week before eating (if you can). It is really delicious on toast with a nice salty cheese (like fetta or a really good cheddar) or serve it on the side with roast chicken.