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Lebanese Sweet Eggplant Preserve Recipe

Surprisingly delicious, this eggplant preserve will take on the texture of figs. Filled with walnuts or almonds, and preserved in a cinnamon and cloves scented sweet syrup, this preserve was a big part of our home staple while I was growing up. It’s a must try for a true gourmand and culinary explorer.

12 baby eggplants about 3” long, washed, tops trimmed

2 cups sugar

2-1/2 cups water

2 pieces of cinnamon stick

6 cloves

2 + 2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla or rose water

12 + 12 walnut halves or almonds, for filling

Place the washed and trimmed eggplants in a bowl of water and 2 tbsp of the lemon juice (lemon juice prevents discolouration); allow to rest for 24 hours, changing the water 2-3 times, in between. Idea here is to rid the eggplant of its bitterness.

Strain the eggplants and make a small lengthwise slice on each eggplant. Gently insert 1 walnut half or an almond into the crevice of each eggplant.

Bring the sugar, water, cinnamon and cloves to a boil. Add the eggplants and the rest of the 12 walnut halves or almonds, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of lemon juice, and the dash of vanilla or rose water. Bring it to boil again for another 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow it to cool. Can store in sterilized jars.

Great served with a cup of your favourite tea.