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The Easy: Quick Pickled Garden Egg Slices

by on October 14, 2013
 

In this recipe, the spongy character of garden eggs are extolled. Its interesting that garden eggs take very well to pickling. The vinegar and spices add another dimension to a fruit that makes it suitable for a myriad of things – eating on its own, layered in a sandwich or chopped up into a salad. I like!

I love pickles, especially if they don’t leave a lingering ‘scent’. Like pickled daikon.

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Openface Garden egg pickle & chutney sandwich

With loads of garden eggs in my possession, and a how-to from Veterinarian, hardlikearmour on Food52, I was set to g

I swapped a few ingredients – using some more native African/Nigerian spices like Uziza, cubeb pepper – a spicy type of peppercorn; and tiny hot red chilies to create my ‘pickling spice’.

To serve, I had it as part of our ‘bread’ dinner tonight: my husband, friend and I gobbled it up. I made 2 batches of white and green pickles. As expected, the green ones turned out with the edge of bitter stamped all over them, but they were delicious nevertheless.

They taste exactly like Italian giardiniera, except I don’t have to wait a month to feast on them! Perfectly vinegary, but without the acerbic bite of too much acid. They’re slightly sweet and full of texture.

Pickled Garden Eggs

For dinner, I sliced a small piece of multigrain baguette. Into it went layers of garden egg pickle, grated carrots, crumbled meatloaf, all topped with the garden egg chutney.

Garden Egg Sandwich with pickle and chutney

Looks great from any and every perspective.

Garden Egg Sandwich with pickle and chutney

The best way to describe this is in texture: soft mie (interior of the bread), super-thin & crackly bread crust, chock full of sweet, acidic pickles, soft & spicy chutney, tasty meatloaf and a willing stomach.

Garden Egg Sandwich with pickle and chutney

Quick Pickled Garden Eggs, adapted from Quick Pickled Apples, from HardlikeArmour on Food52

Ingredients
1 cup water
1 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup (light) agave syrup, plus additional if desired (Alternatively, use maple syrup)
Homemade pickling spice:
  • 4 green cardamom pods, pounded to split pods
  • 1 teaspoon dried red chili peppers
  • 1 pod, star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Uziza/ cubeb pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried scent leaves (or dried mint)
1/2 teaspoon (kosher) salt
5-6 medium sized green or white garden eggs, sliced
Directions

Herbs & spices for pickle

Combine the water, vinegar, agave syrup, pickling spice, and (kosher) salt in a small to medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat heat to low and cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon out a small amount of the brine, allow to cool, and taste. If you want a sweeter pickle add more agave syrup, a tablespoon at a time.

Herbs & spices in pickle brine

After you reduce the heat on the brine, wash and slice your garden eggs  thinly, about 5 mm slices. Transfer the slices to a small but deep bowl.

Slices of garden eggs

In trying to get to the root of the bitterness of the green garden egg, versus the white, I’ve decided to peer deeper into their anatomies.

Garden Egg Crosssections and description

What I observe is that for a given size, the green garden egg has more spongy material compared with the white, and less seeds.

Both have thick, chewy skins. The internal fruit is compartmentalised, with the green having more divisions – 6, in the case above, compared with the white, at 4.

Strain the brine into the bowl with the garden egg slices, then cover with cling film and weigh down – I used a small jar to keep the garden egg slices submerged.

Pickled Garden Eggs

Allow to come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Once at room temperature, transfer the slices to a glass jar, layering them evenly and prettily around the perimeter/edge of the jar. Fill the jar with brine.

Pickled Garden Eggs

If you have leftover brine, here are a few articles that guide you towards repurposing it: Everything from just re-use it, make marinades and salad dressings, add to bread dough, or spike a Bloody Mary.

Cover and refrigerate. They are good  immediately, and great after a couple of days.

Pickled Garden Eggs

They last at least a week in the fridge.

Enjoy them with meats, in a sandwich….chopped up in a salad.

Use them as you would any old pickle!

Verdict

Pickled Garden Eggs

Right up my street.

I now think this will be awesome in a pasta salad. I have big plans baby. For the rest of this batch.

Point D: A delicious salad, with peanuts and herbs!