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Gvetch - An Eggplant Recipe

This recipe is very adaptable and each Russian mother probably has her own version.  I pressure can my gvetch so that I can safely add carrots, which is how I ate it in Russia.   

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Russian
Keyword canning eggplant, relish, Russian recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time-ish 45 minutes
Total Time-ish 1 hour 15 minutes
Serving Suggestion 4


  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 4 medium sized peppers chopped and seeded
  • 3 medium sized eggplants chopped
  • 3 large carrots chopped or grated
  • 3 medium sized zucchini or summer squash
  • whole peeled tomatoes - about two pounds, or 30 Roma sized tomatoes cut into chunks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon each basil, oregano and thyme OR, herbs to taste


  1. Sautee chopped onion and garlic in about one tablespoon of oil until the onions are opaque.
  2. Add peppers and saute with about five minutes.
  3. Put in the eggplant, carrots and squash and saute until soft.
  4. Now add the tomatoes.  You can used canned, if you'd like.  I usually make this in the summer when tomatoes are abundant so I use fresh Romas, or a similar variety.  If you're using fresh, I recommend you peel them first.  For a handy way to peel tomatoes, click here.  Or, you can do it however your Grandma taught you.
  5. Cook together until everything is very soft and you're able to mash the eggplant with a potato masher.  I don't use my submersion blender because I like the chunks.  You want any large pieces mashed down to smaller bits.  It should look very relish-y.
  6. Add spices and let it simmer for five more minutes.  Taste and adjust spices, as needed.  Remember, though, that spices in canned items get a stronger flavor over time.  So, don't go crazy.
  7. Ladle into clean, hot jars, leave head space of 1", and process quarts for 40 minutes in a pressure canner, adjusting for your altitude. If you use pint jars, you may reduce the time to 30 minutes.

Recipe Notes

There are so many variables in this recipe that its hard for me to give you a precise finished amount. Plan for between 3-5 quarts, or 6-10 pints. Here are some things that alter the volume of the finished product:

  • Did you use all fresh ingredients? If so, the volume of water in these will be higher than in dehydrated or previously canned items like tomato paste. The more water = the more bulk in the gvetch.
  • How long did you simmer the batch? Tomato based canning recipes, like anything simmered, will loose more water the longer you cook them. If you want more bulk in your gvetch and you enjoy it a little on the runny side, cook it until it has only reduced by about a third. If you like it on the drier side, there will be less of it (water in veggies = volume of product) but cook it down until its reduced by about half.
  • Did you fudge and fiddle with the listed amounts because you used what you had? No worries, but that, too, can change the volume of the finished product.

I always wash and heat extra canning jars just in case and I always encourage you to do that, too. It can't hurt and if you end up with more product than you anticipated, you're ready to put it up!