Posts tagged ‘Pickles’

August 20, 2012

Preserving Summer Produce: Quick Pickles

Many of you may think that getting ready for the beach entails laundry and shopping and packing. For me, this year, beach preparation involved thinking about how to make sure that none of the produce that we have from the garden and the CSA was wasted. And so, pickles.

We had some beets from several weeks ago, carrots, and more yellow squash than we know what to do with. A few quick Epicurious searches later, and I was in quick pickling heaven.

We made 5 quarts of pickles: yellow squash, carrots, and beets. The yellow squash pickles have already become a mainstay of our beach cuisine – everyone is pleased with them.  The best thing about quick pickles is that other than chopping, the time involved is minimal.

First – prep your veggies – cut into bite sized pieces, blanch the carrots, boil the beets, no need to cook the others.

Second – peel and smash a couple of cloves of garlic.

Third – identify any spices from the fridge you might want to add- dill or parsley or fennel in our case.

Fourth – boil some vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns and/or fennel seed for about two minutes, or until the salt and sugar have dissolved.

Fifth – pour over the veggies in a clean glass jar.

Sixth – cool and then put in the fridge.

Then, let sit for a day or so in the fridge and enjoy…

Easy peasy – and quick to be consumed!

If you want actual recipes, I found lots on Epicurious.

July 8, 2010

Local Produce Overflow

We are overflowing with produce.  This, says the husband, is the problem with the CSA.  This, says the wife, is why I love the CSA.  Opportunity abounds for making things we love, and for adventuring into new recipes with the mountain of verdant veggies that threatens to take over my fridge.  The long weekend meant time… and that IS what is hard about having so much produce.  So little time, so much cooking to do. So what did we do, and what have we been eating?

First, quick pickled vegetables. I used a recipe from a recent Eating Well that has has been on my to-do list for ages, but kept falling to the bottom of the list.  But after working with the kids to get their rooms in order, I pulled out the beets, and the baby carrots, and the salad turnips that we hadn’t eaten, and did it.  Peeling and blanching the beets was a colorful event, the carrots and turnips less so.  Boiling water and vinegar and sugar was a cinch, and adding seasoning and herbs required only a little bit of decision making (and we chose to use dill and garlic from the farm too!).  And tonight, we tried the pickled beets, and they were good.  Tender and flavorful.  We have to wait until next week to try the turnips, but I’m thinking that this is just the beginning of a beautiful relationship with the quick pickle.

With so much produce in the house, we decided it was time for frittata accompanied by a green salad – one of our go-to summer meals.  Although we did not have local eggs in the house, we had farmer’s market and CSA potatoes, onions, and lots of basil.  We added a red pepper from the grocery store, and cheese, and the entire frittata was gone before bedtime.  We may have to make another this week.

And then, there is the basil.  Although we have encountered some tomato thieves this season, our basil has been thriving.  And then we got even more basil from our CSA.  So, we had already slivered and frozen some basil in ice cube trays for future use, and have been adding it religiously to our salads, but we decided the time was right to make ourselves some pesto.  So we made two quick batches – one with Genovese basil, the other with lemon basil – and served it over some fettucine.  Unbelievably fresh, and enough left over to freeze!! Whoopee!

Following in the footsteps of our fellow blogger at FoodieTots, who is a member of our CSA, we used her inspired recipe to prepare the rainbow-colored Swiss chard and cherry tomatoes.  Delicious.

And, tonight, we made our first gazpacho of the season.  Cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and mint from our garden and the CSA with some V-8 juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  It was a perfect capper for yet another over 100 degree DC day.

 

Now, we just need to make the summer squash fritters and zucchini bread, and do something with the kale and kohlrabi and cabbage …..but we’re pretty sure that we know what we’re going to do with the new batch of beets that we got on Tuesday!  Hope all our readers are enjoying their own local bounties.

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