For those of you that have a green thumb, this time of year can be very busy. As your bounty of summer vegetables and tomatoes are ripening in front of your eyes, you’re probably frantically looking recipes in order to put all these delicious, fresh veggies to use. You have been nurturing them for months, and now it’s time to reap the rewards of what you had sewn.
Salads and gazpacho account for a great deal of the veggies in my garden, but I also like to trade and go to local farms.
What do I do with all of the goodies I find there? Why pickle them of course!
Pickling is a quick and easy way to savor the flavor of summer while doing something interesting with your afternoon. You can use just about any veggie you want in place of the ones I have decided on, as long as you keep them about the same size and blanch the harder ones so they don’t break your teeth. Wax beans, baby carrots, cauliflower florets, okra pods, sliced sweet bell pepper, sliced cucumber, whole button mushrooms, peppers, or radishes all make for tasty tart treats in the summer heat. Enjoy!
Spicy Pickled Veggies
2 carrots, washed and sliced 1/4 inch, blanched
1/4 cup cauliflower florets, blanched
1/4 sweet onion, sliced 1/4 inch
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
10-12 black peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds (celery seeds are also good)
1 jalapeño quartered (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 cup coconut vinegar (cider vinegar works too)
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
To blanch vegetable you will need a large pot pot about half full of water at a full boil. The water should be fairly well salted. You will also need another large container filled with ice water and a colander. Boil your carrots and cauliflower in the salted water for about two minutes or until they are slightly softened yet still crunchy. Drain the veggies from the hot water and submerge them in the ice water until they are cooled completely. Drain well from the ice water and set aside.
In a sterilized mason jar carefully arrange your veggies and dry spices/herbs making sure they are evenly portioned. Then, in a heavy bottomed sauce pan or large bowl, mix together.
In another heavy bottomed sauce pan combine vinegar, white wine, sugar, and salt. Bring mixture to a full boil for 30-45 seconds. (don’t try to smell directly it will burn your nostrils instead waft if you want to smell it). Carefully pour your pickling liquid over the top of your vegetable until they are covered completely.
Place the tops on your jars and allow jars to sit at room temperature until cooled. Screw your lids on then refrigerate for 2-3 days before serving.
Serve your pickled veggies chilled as a side, snack, accoutrement, or in a bloody Mary. These should keep well in the fridge for up to three months.
Image courtesy of SheKnows blog.
Here are some upcoming food events dedicated to the fine art of pickling and food preservation.
Saturday, September 7 I Food Preservation Party – Barre, Massachusetts Instructors Julie Rawson and Jack Kittredge are life-long food preservationists who can’t stand to see anything go to waste. Using what is available on the farm they will ask you to help them can, freeze, lacto-ferment, wine, dry, leather, jam, juice and pickle. Additionally you will tour their root cellar and any aspects of the farm that interest you. 2 1/2 acres of certified organic veggies, 1 acre fruit, chickens, pigs, turkeys and steers! A pot-luck lunch will follow at noon.
Thursday, September 12 I Capture the Sun – the Art of Canning – Evanston, Illinois Whether it’s a delicious treat for you and your family, homemade party appetizers or creative gifts, recipes for canned foods and preserves always come in handy. They can keep for months, so you can enjoy your creations long after the cookin’ is done. In this hands-on class the focus is on techniques for chutney, jam and pickling, which you can apply to any fruits or veggies. So make you sure you’ve got some room on a shelf at home, as these goodies are great all year round!
Sunday, November 17 I Holiday Canning: Winter Fruit – San Francisco, California So often we think of preserving summer fruits and vegetables, and we stock our pantry shelves with the likes of tomato sauce, cucumber pickles, and peach jam. But we forget about winter! Join Karen Solomon as she inspires and instructs on preserving the best of winter’s fruit. Quince paste, cranberry sauce, and orange hibiscus marmalade are a joy to pull from the shelf in the middle of a SF summer, when you need the flavor equivalent of a warm, wool blanket. They also make perfect gifts for the holiday season!