Jam from eggplants, beets and cucumbers

Dishes. Vegetable jam is an unusual thing, but cooking it is as easy as traditional. No special fixtures are required. First of all, we need accurate scales (jam does not tolerate approximation), a cutting board, a sharp knife, a peeler. It is advisable to get a wide pan with a thick bottom of the highest quality steel: thanks to the excellent thermal conductivity and a large surface area, the jam in it is brewed much faster. A wooden spoon with a long handle for stirring and a jar with hermetic closures are the logical conclusion to the whole process.

Sterilization. A very important moment in the preparation of any jam is sterilization. First you need to fill the jam “to the eyeballs”, leaving no room for air, and then boil hermetically sealed containers. Glass jars need to be wrapped in kitchen towels so that they do not touch each other and cannot be beaten, put in a high saucepan, completely fill with water, put on high heat and bring to a boil as quickly as possible. After that, the fire should be reduced and boiled for 15–20 minutes. Cool banks should be right in the pan with water. Then they will be taken to the pantry – at least until spring. It is useful to stick labels on the jars with the date of preparation.

Options. Vegetable jam can be a mix of different vegetables. Pumpkin goes well with carrots and sweet potatoes, cucumbers with zucchini, shallots with leek, green tomatoes with zucchini, eggplants with pearl onions, petiolate celery with asparagus.

Beetroot with vanilla

1 kg of beet

300 g sugar

juice and zest of 2 lemons

1 vanilla pod

1 glass of dry white wine

Wrap the beets (each separately) in foil, bake in an oven preheated to 180 ° C for 50–60 minutes. Lightly cool, peel, cut into small pieces and grind into a puree in a blender. Put it in a saucepan with a thick bottom, add sugar, juice and lemon zest, cut the vanilla pod in half (scrape out the seeds) and wine. Stir, put on medium-high heat and boil until desired consistency, about 15 minutes. Put the jam in jars with tight lids, close and sterilize for 15 minutes. This jam goes well with potato salad and cottage cheese dishes.

Spiced Shallot Jam

1 kg of small shallots

500 g brown sugar

4 cinnamon sticks

3 stars anise

juice and zest of 2 lemons

Fold whole untreated shallot bulbs into a saucepan, add plenty of cold water, bring to a boil over medium heat, boil for 5–7 minutes, drain in a colander, rinse with cold water and peel gently, keeping the onions intact. Bring the sugar and 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan with a thick bottom, add cinnamon sticks, star anisets, juice and coarsely chopped lemon zest to the syrup. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Then pour onions, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to minimum, cook for about 30 minutes. Put the jam in jars with tight lids, cool, close and sterilize for 20 minutes. This jam is perfect for any baked or grilled meat and poultry, especially those that are fatter.

Cucumber jam

1 kg of cucumbers

600 g sugar

juice and zest of 2 lemons

small bunch of mint

Mint chop. Peel the cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Pulp into thin slices, put into a pan with a thick bottom, add mint, sugar, zest and lemon juice. Leave for 2-3 hours. Then bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the jam has the consistency of caramel, about 30 minutes. Put the jam in jars with airtight lids, close and sterilize for 20 minutes. This jam is well served with blue and aged hard cheeses.

Eggplant confiture with ginger and chocolate

1 kg of eggplants

800 g sugar

50 g fresh ginger

juice of 1 large lemon

250 g of bitter (75% cocoa) chocolate

Peel the eggplants, cut the flesh into cubes. Grate ginger on a fine grater. Boil 300 ml of water with sugar, add eggplants and ginger, cook on low heat for about 1 hour, stirring. Finely chopped chocolate. Pour lemon juice into hot confiture, mix and chop the blender into mashed potatoes. Add the chocolate and stir vigorously until it melts. Arrange the confiture in jars with tight lids, close and sterilize for 15 minutes. This confiture can be served to toast bread with candied fruit or to mature cheeses.

Features cooking. If you want vegetables to make jam in the classic sense of the word, which can be served for tea, you need to get rid of unsweetened vegetable flavor. To do this, boil chopped vegetables over low heat, putting it in cold water, not in boiling water. Strong root vegetables (carrots, onions, celery, sweet potatoes) should be boiled for 5–8 minutes; for more tender vegetables, 2–3 minutes are sufficient. Cooked vegetables, fold them in a sieve, rinse with cold water so that they stop preparing, dry and cook further according to the recipe. If you want to get savory jam – accompaniment to cheeses, poultry or other savory dishes – you can not boil the vegetables.

Pectin. Many fruits (apples, quince, citrus fruits) and berries contain a beneficial gelling agent – pectin, which cannot be said about vegetables. That is why, not only for flavor and acid, there are lemons in vegetable jam recipes, in which there is quite a lot of pectin. As an alternative, gelling sugar is suitable – it will allow you to cook jam even faster and with minimal loss of vitamins.

Every vegetable has its own fruit

Vegetable jam can be flavored with anything: spices, herbs, liqueurs, nuts, dried fruit and even chocolate. Here are a few ideas:

green tomatoes + figs + vanilla (served with soft cheeses)

zucchini + apples (apple juice) + cardamom (served with calf tongue)

red onion + raisins + orange + cinnamon (served with mature cheeses)

chilli + lime + cloves (served with boiled meat)

celery + lemon + mint (served before dessert)

carrots + tangerines + white pepper (served with brioche toasts)

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