All posts tagged “spring

Pickled Beets_Katherine Sacks
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Pickled Eggs

The one and only time I’ve had pickled eggs, we were tucked into the back roads of Traverse City, Michigan, sitting in the most charming barn that doubled as an apple cider tasting room. We had spent the day driving from delicious place to delicious place, tasting wine, cherries, seafood, and many other culinary delights. And although I hadn’t spotted Mario Batali, who spends his summers in the area, I was certainly on a foodie high. Inside the barn, the tasting room offered a variety of ciders, and, I imagine thanks to some Amish influences, the only option for snacking was a bright jar of pickled eggs. Perhaps because of the foodie high—because at the time I was really not a fan of eggs—I decided to order a couple, which we happily ate along with our brews.

I’m not sure if it’s the very fond memories we have for the trip—which was so lovely that I recommend a visit to the area if at all possible—or if the tangy eggs really were delicious, but three years later I still remember the very specific details surrounding our tasting them. And now that I’ve made peace with eggs as a food option, I thought how lovely it would be to have the bright pink pickled eggs for our Easter lunch. We have a long overnight hike in Brandenburg planned—60 kilometers through the woods surrounding Berlin—and this will be a great snack to bring along. I’m also looking forward to turning them into a pickled egg salad for our Easter celebrations. Enjoy and Happy Easter!

Pickled Beets_Katherine Sacks

Pickled Eggs, adapted from The Kitchn
Yield: 12 halves
6 eggs
1 can pickled beets
1 cup apple cider vinegar
 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt

Gently place eggs in a medium sized pot and cover with cool water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then cover pot and remove from heat. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain the eggs and place them in an ice water bath for several minutes to cool. Carefully remove shells from eggs, and set aside.

While the eggs are cooking, prepare the brine. In a large glass jar or bowl, combine the can of pickled beats, vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, and salt. Stir together, and then carefully add the hard-boiled eggs. Cover and let sit for at least 12 hours, or up to 3 days, depending on how strong (and pink) you want the eggs.



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Strawberry-Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal

Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal

Taking cue from German-style breakfast, I’ve been eating large bowls of muesli every morning. When I saw this baked oatmeal, I thought it might be nice to make a big batch for a few days, especially with a friend in town for the week. Instead of banana, I used up the rhubarb purée from last week and I tried hazelnut meal and hazelnuts for the nutty flavor.

I’ve also been playing around with more gluten-free recipes—in part because I’m interested in all the fun grains and seeds and also because I like to give my stomach a rest when it comes to digestion. This recipe is totally gluten-free. Oats are naturally gluten-free, but check for the specific variety if you have a strong allergy, as they are often processed with wheat. And millet and amaranth are high-protein grains which add texture and flavor. My friend Jacquie suggested soaking the nuts and grains, which makes them more digestible. It was my first time doing this, and I had fun figuring it out; you can skip this step if you don’t have time or interest but it gives the oatmeal a creamy texture.

My visting friend and I really loved eating this recipe for breakfast all week—although it has thankfully stopped snowing in Berlin, May has been damp, cold, and rainy. This was a warm, cozy way to start the day, with a nice contrast from the creamy and mushy oatmeal to crunchy nuts and of course the sweet strawberries. It reheats wonderfully and is great with a little almond milk or fresh fruit.

Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal

Strawberry-Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal, adapted from Edible Perspective and Mainly Green
Servings 8 to 10 portions

For the Soaked Grains:
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
½ cup millet
½ cup amaranth
1 cup hazelnuts
4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Combine the oats, millet, amaranth, and hazelnuts in a baking pan. Cover with warm water and stir in apple cider vinegar. Let sit 24 hours. Drain mixture in a fine mesh strainer and rinse gently. Preheat an oven to 175°F. Place mixture on a sheet tray and dry in oven for 1 to 2 hours.

For the Baked Oatmeal:
2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, plus additional for greasing pan
2 cups diced strawberries
¼ cup hazelnut meal
2 tablespoons ground flax meal
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup rhubarb purée
1½ cups water
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

For the Topping:
¼ cup gluten-free rolled oats
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13 pan with coconut oil.

Place the diced strawberries in the baking dish. Combine the hazelnut meal, flax meal, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Toss strawberries with the dry mixture then add the Soaked Grains. If you skip soaking the grains, just add the dry 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats, ½ cup millet, ½ cup amaranth, and 1 cup hazelnuts in this step and add an additional ½ cup water to the next step.

Combine the rhubarb, water, maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Pour the wet mixture carefully over the whole pan, poking holes into the dry mixture to combine everything without stirring.

Bake for 40 minutes. While baking, combine the oats, sugar, hazelnuts, and cinnamon for the Topping. Sprinkle the oatmeal with topping and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes, or until the sides set up and start pulling away from the pan. The oatmeal will continue to set as it cools. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Rhubarb G&T

Rhubarb Gin and Tonic

Gin and tonics are everywhere these days. The New York Times says the drink is having a comeback, and it made an appearance on Mad Men last week, so I thought I’d get on board. G&Ts also seem to be quite popular in Berlin—we actually ended up at a bar a few weeks ago that sold the gin by the 0.2 liter, with separate tiny bottles of artisan tonic to DIY.

While I have always thought of gin as fairly flavorless, distillers like Alameda’s St. George and Brooklyn’s New York Distilling Company are showing the clear liquor can be floral, botanical, and pungent, and easily stands up to the darker-spirits competition. Although I’m not much of an on-the-rocks kind of girl, the really good stuff is wonderfully refreshing, great to sip on over ice on a warm sunny afternoon. There are a few German distillers making gins that are supposed to be quite good; both Monkey 47 and Berlin-based Adler Gin are on my list to try.

I received three pretty stalks of rhubarb this week in our farm share, and not sure what to make, I realized it has been quite awhile since I’ve made a cocktail for the blog. We still have a nice bottle of St. George Dry Rye Gin from TH’s parents visit and in the spirit of Memorial Day weekend, and the thought of everyone grilling and enjoying the start of summer back at home, I made this refreshing cocktail for us to sip on over the rainy Berlin weekend. The rhubarb syrup, spiked with a touch of orange zest, gives the drink a beautiful pink hue, which is enough to brighten any day.


Rhubarb-Orange Syrup
Servings: 3 cups
1½ cups water
1 cup sugar
3 stalks rhubarb, rinsed, leaves removed, and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon orange zest

In a medium pot, combine the water and sugar. Bring to a boil and add the rhubarb and orange zest. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain, pushing the rhubarb pulp* with the back of a spoon to release all of the juice. Cool the liquid.
* I reserved the rhubarb pulp to make a baked oatmeal dish. Recipe coming soon!

Rhubarb Gin and Tonic, adapted from The Year in Food
Servings: 1 drink
4 ounces rhubarb juice
3 ounces gin
5 ounces tonic water

Combine the rhubarb, gin, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a highball glass and top with the tonic water.