Marinated Garden

By • June 18, 2011 • 29 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe can start one of two ways .... the first: On Jan 15th start your tomato seeds. Also start turning and composting your beds. Feb 15th - start eggplants. More turning, more compost. Obsessive seedling care. March 15 - plant tomatoes. Early April - more compost. Buy pepper seedlings. Add African Nightcrawler eggs. Plant peppers and eggplants. Water water water ... feed fish poo, water, flick caterpillars - well so you get the idea. The second: go to the farmers market and buy eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, onions, herbs. Either way, this is all about fresh garden stuff and summertime. I am not providing exact measurements because it's really going to depend on what you buy, and how you pack the jars, and how much you nibble along the way - I hope you like this as much as I doaargersi

Serves 2 quarts or so

  • eggplant - sliced about 1/2 inch thick. Enough slices to cover a 12x18 cutting board twice. I have a variety of eggplants - get the ones that look prettiest
  • sliced tomatos - I have green zebra, heatwave, sweet tangerine and black krim - again - use what you like and what looks best
  • thinly sliced sweet onion
  • 1 whole head garlic
  • thinly sliced chilis - I used Mucho nacho - not so hot - and cowhorn - super hot
  • chopped herbs - I used oregano and pineapple mint, but thyme, basil, lemon verbena, chives, marjoram would all be good
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • mason jars and a grill
  1. Heat the grill to medium high - or if you are grill challenged you can use a griddle pan. Slice the eggplants - I did it one cutting board load at a time. Sprinkle one side with salt, flip them, sprinkle the other side with salt. Flip them back and drizzle with olive oil, flip back and get the other side with olive oil. Cut the top off the garlic so you can see the tops of the cloves, drizzle with olive oil and wrap loosley in heavy foil.
  2. Put the garlic on the top rack or on indirect heat on the grill. Or in the oven if you are grill-less. Grill the eggplants until they have good grill marks and are softened but not cooked all they way through - you want them to maintain some texture. I grilled maybe 4-5 minutes per side but it will depend on your heat. Take them in and pile them on a plate while you slice, salt, oil, and grill you second load.
  3. After the second batch of eggplant is done the garlic will be too. Time to pack the jars. I use wide mouth mason jars but whatever works for you ... Put a layer of a couple / three eggplant in the bottom of the jar. Layer in tomato, onion, some garlic. some sliced peppers. Grind some pepper and add a pinch of chopped herbs. Drizzle in oil and vinegar - I do this simultaneously so the amounts are fairly equal. Add another layer of each, and now you want to press the veggies in - you can do this with a spoon (the ladylike/gentlemanly way) or your clean hands (the Abbie way) Layer and squish until the jar is full. I lay a big slice of eggplant on top, give it one last glug of olive oil, and screw the top on.
  4. Put the jar in the fridge at least overnight before you head off to your picnic. I am guessing they COULD last a couple weeks in the fridge, but they won't, you will eat them way before that. Pack your basket with veggies, some good rustic bread, some slicing cheese, and something cold and pink (Tavel - yum) and off you go!
Jump to Comments (29)

Tags: marinade

Comments (29) Questions (1)

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over 3 years ago Loves Pie

I'm going to make this asap - having company for the 4th and need great antipasti. Thanks

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

I love this and can see endless variations on your winning theme!

Crackl

over 3 years ago fo

oh how lovely. thank you so much for this post. i know what i will be making all summer!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

This looks and sounds amazing! Seriously perfect picnic food.

Checker

over 3 years ago checker

I see a Matisse, perhaps? One of those red rooms he was so fond of and did so well? Visually striking and delicious. Creative brilliance, I say.

036

over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow, what a nice thing to say! Thanks!!!

Amycooking

over 3 years ago AmyW

Gorgeous!

036

over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks all! We had a "kitchen picnic" with this last night - bread, cheese, salami, and a Tavel, and it was really good!!!

Lobster_001

over 3 years ago nannydeb

ahhhh, sounds perfect!

Img_0733

over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Pretty!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

mmmm....summer in a jar! Very nice.

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over 3 years ago ivy

That looks DELISH! Great idea!

Me

over 3 years ago wssmom

Planning trip to farmer's market for this!

Port2

over 3 years ago nogaga

That is gorgeous!

Scan0004

over 3 years ago susan g

That's a prolific garden, and a "flaunt it" presentation. Must be like a pot of gold/treasure hunt to serve. My garden consists of a few hot pepper plants in pots, so off to the farmers market -- in July.

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

This is so gorgeous! And I love your idea of a picnic.

Dscn3274

over 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Just beautiful! I'm waiting on tomatoes, cukes, zucchini etc. but the rabbits have decided that they like green beans and collards!!

036

over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I keep threatening to catch and eat the critters that go after the garden ... but I am really not a hunter :-)

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Love your headnote. Love the imprecision/impromptuness, and especially measurements in glugs. But one of the great preparation instructions of recent memory has to be, "Layer and squish until the jar is full."

Great for a picnic, great for a gift.

036

over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

glugging and squishing is fun!!!

3-bizcard

over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I am afraid of exactly that Midge. The squirrels in Brooklyn are terrible. I planted one year over 50 tulip bulbs and the little buggers ate every last one. Woke up in the morning and my backyard looked like a mine field. They tore my tarragon out of the dirt its gone, I feel your pain.

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

What a wonderful recipe and very beautiful assortment of vegetables. You must have a lovely garden. Sooo.... jealous would love to be able to grow my own not so easy here in Brooklyn.

036

over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

We have every possible bit of our lot planted - maybe you could do a flowerpot garden? A little pepper plant or some herbs? A patio tomato?

3-bizcard

over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I have a backyard not very large mostly blue stone and decking with limited space for planting. One year I did tomato's I had every squirrel and raccoon in the neighborhood hanging out in the backyard, they made such a mess and the tomato's got out of hand. I grow herbs, basil, chives, parsley, thyme. rosemary and mint but haven't tried veggies since the tomato fiasco. I have all my herbs except for the peppermint in pots. Maybe I will try putting tomato's in pots that might be more manageable for me. Thanks The squirrels ate my taragon, go figure.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Believe it or not, Esmé the perfect dog nibbled at my tomatoes last summer. I wondered what was nibbling on them on the vine without actually pulling them off and eating them. I didn't believe it until I saw it with my very own eyes, as opposed to someone else's, through the kitchen window. Passing on tomatoes this summer.

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

sdebrango, I planted my tomatoes in pots last year and the squirrels still got 'em. Little buggers.

3-bizcard

over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Can't believe Esme nibbled at your tomato's, The year I planted them I'll swear the squirrels and raccoons were making salad in the back yard. I haven't planted them since.

Bike2

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Brilliant on all levels!!!

036

over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Sage! It's really pretty darn tasty and a good way to use my over-abundant eggplant crop (I may have gotten carried away planting :-)