All posts tagged “Preserving

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Pickled Yellow Squash

Pickled Yellow Squash

I came across this recipe on The Kitchn a few weeks ago and I went home and immediately made a batch with a yellow squash and green pepper from our CSA. The combination of the crunchy bite of the squash, sweet-tart brine, and serious garlic bite is so addictive, I made a second batch the next week. And I’ve been rationing the pickles ever since—cautiously sharing with friends and occasionally putting them on my lunch time salads.

What’s the secret to such great pickles? Starting with delicious produce certainly helps. And a flavorful pickling liquid is key. I used a combination of organic apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, toasted spices, and mustard seeds to create this one, and it’s so good, I’ve taken to using the leftover liquid for whatever vegetables we happen to have (including those pretty tomatoes from last week).  I love the pop of the tart mustard seeds on your tongue against the squash.

And while it may be a condiment, just like the best old fashioned “pickle” pickles, this squash dish is good enough to eat all on its own (it’s also great on top on sandwiches). It’s definitely my new favorite pickle. Do you have a favorite? What have you been pickling for the fall?

Pickled Yellow Squash

Pickled Yellow Squash

Pickled Yellow Squash, adapted from The Kitchn
Servings: 2 pints
3 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
½ sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 small green or red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
¼ cup kosher salt

½ tablespoon pickling spices
1 tablespoon mustard seeds

2½ cups apple cider vinegar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground mustard

Combine squash, onions, peppers, garlic, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add a few ice cubes and enough cold water to just cover. Combine and set aside for 30 minutes.

Rinse the vegetables well and place in a colander to drain. Meanwhile heat a small saucepan over low heat and toast the pickling spices and mustard seeds. When the spices are aromatic, add the vinegar, sugar, and ground mustard and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stirring to make sure the ingredients are dissolved, and cool for 3 to 5 minutes.

Gently pat the vegetables dry with a towel and place in canning jars or an airtight container. Pour vinegar, spices, and seeds over the mixture and use a knife to push seeds and spices down around vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for up to one month. Strain from brine before serving.

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Weekend Inspiration: Preserving

Preserving Tomatoes

After a nice Labor Day weekend break, it’s back to business as usual around here—and tons of cooking in the kitchen! As we head into September, and warm summer weather comes to an end, we’re welcomed with the last big push of produce and fruit. In a few months the farmers markets will go back to bare stalls of cheese, bread, and greens, so stock up now! And while nothing beats the fresh taste of a deliciously ripe tomato, the best way to make the flavors last is by preserving them through canning, pickling, roasting, and dehydrating.

Whether its a quick pickle (I’ll share my new favorite yellow squash recipe on Monday) or a canning adventure, preserving is a labor of love that really pays off. This weekend I have a few projects on the list, making use of my wonderful CSA produce. And after a friend recently shared her tomato sauce making experience, I can’t help but look at my pretty market tomatoes differently. Perhaps they’ll get a dip into the pickling liquid this weekend as well!

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I mentioned on Friday how I inspired I’ve been with all the new food publications popping up lately—everyday I’m finding another one. Our new South Williamsburg home has been another major source of inspiration—we’re right across the street from Marlow & Daughters which tempts me on a daily basis with fresh bread, local meats, and a whole slew of top notch products. And the pages of Diner Journal—produced by Marlow owner Andrew Tarlow—gives a peek inside the cooks and recipes of his restaurants (Marlow & Sons, Diner, Reynard).

I was immediately tempted by this kimchi recipe in the Fall 2011 issue—TH and I have been on a serious kimchi kick lately—and our lovely CSA Partners Trace has been stocking us with tons of cabbage and kale primed for this spicy, tangy, fermented dish.

Although kimchi can seem a bit intimidating, it’s not. With a few additions to your pantry—Korean chile paste, Korean chile powder, fish sauce—you can easily make a batch. The hardest part is waiting a few days, necessary to let the flavors ferment and fully marry, to eat it! And it’s a kind of empty-your-fridge recipe—although the traditional version is made with napa cabbage, you can use whatever veggies you have, including carrots, radishes, cucumber, apple, Asian pear, and as I have done, kale. Once refrigerated, the kimchi will last up to two months, so it’s a great way to preserve some if that end-of-summer produce. Kimchi is a wonderful addition chopped into salads and scrambled eggs, and I’m eager to try this quick kimchi sauce from The Cuisinerd. I’d love to hear how you like to eat kimchi!

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