Pickled Radishes and Pickled Scapes

Thanks to the great canning workshop that Victoria from Windflower Farm led last fall, I’ve been trying to do more canning this season.  Two things I’ve learned:

1. With a little inexpensive equipment, a good recipe book, and some time, water bath canning is not that hard to do safely.

2. Even if you don’t want to go through the whole canning process, you can still make pickles!

Here are two things I pickled today.

 

The first is a half pint of Pickled Radishes, using a recipe from Well-Preserved.  This is a refrigerator pickle, meaning it isn’t shelf-stable, but it will keep in your fridge for a few weeks.  Basically, you slice up radishes, boil some vinegar with sugar and salt, put it in a jar, and stick it in your fridge.  Easy!  A note: to sterilize your jar, put it in a pot of water, bring to a boil, and boil it for 10 minutes.

 

The second is Pickled Garlic Scapes, which I was inspired to make because Ortine on Washington between Pacific and Dean was using them to garnish their Bloody Marys.  Here’s the recipe I used, combining a couple recipes from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff.  Messing with canning recipes is touchy, since you need to make sure the mixture is acidic enough to avoid botulism, but the things I changed in the recipe don’t affect acidity, so it should only make a difference in taste.  Don’t want to do the whole canning thing?  You can do basically the same as with the radishes: sterilize your jar, make the pickling liquid, stick it in the fridge, and eat it within a couple weeks.  I’m not going to include step-by-step water bath canning instructions; get yourself a book and make sure you know what you’re doing before you try it.

Pickled Garlic Scapes, adapted from Liana Krissoff and Ortine
Makes 2 pint jars

1 1/4 lbs. garlic scapes
1 c. cider vinegar (5% acidity)
1 c. white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 1/2 t. pure kosher salt
1 1/2 t. sugar
2 t. pickling spice

1. Wash your scapes, then cut them into 4 inch sections so they’ll fit in your jars.  I could usually get three sections from each scape.  Don’t include the bulb part.

2. In a nonreactive pot, combine your vinegars, 1 c. water, salt, and sugar and bring just to a boil.

3. Pack your hot jars (boil them while you prep) with the scapes, working quickly.  Split your pickling spice between the two jars, then ladle in the pickling liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Use a chopstick or other tool to remove air bubbles, wipe the rim with a wet paper towel, then place a lid and a ring on the jar until finger tight.  If you’re water bath canning, process for 15 minutes.  If you’re making refrigerator pickles, let the jar cool down, then stick it in the fridge and let it cure for about a week.

Easy Stir-Fried Leafy Greens

From Veganomicon

  • 1 lb of any greens selected from your share
  • 2 tbs peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1/2-inch cube of ginger, grated
  • 1 tbs rice coking wine, cooking sherry, or mirin
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil or chile-sesame oil

Slice the greens into one or two inch wide sections, removing any thick stems. Wash, dry, and shake off any excess water. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat the peanut oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, cook, stirringconstantly for thirty seconds. Add the thick stems and stir-fry, for about one or two minutes, until stems begin to soften. Add the leafy tops, stirring constantly for another two to three minutes, until the tops begin to wilt and soften. Sprinkle with cooking wine, soy sauce, sugar and chile-sesame oil. If the leaves are very large and piled high in the pan, cover the pan for 1 – 2 minutes to sweat and wilt them so that they can easily stir-fried. Stir to combine all the ingredients, stir-fry until the veggies are bright green and the stems are tender but still slightly crisp.

Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Bread and Butter Refrigerator Pickles

Making pickles doesn’t have to involve canning.You can make great pickles right inyour refrigerator! Here are some I made recently, based on recipes from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and Canning for a New Generation.

Easy Bread and Butter Refrigerator Pickles based on Ball

Makes about 4 pint jars or 2 quart jars

1/4 c. pickling spice (see below or buy pre-made from the store)
6 c. pickling cucumbers (the little ones), cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 onion, peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch slices
3 c. white vinegar
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2 T. pickling or canning salt, or pure Kosher salt
1 T. prepared horseradish
1 T. celery seeds
1 T. Pickle Crisp (TM) if you have it (keeps pickles crispy)
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground turmeric

1. If you have cheesecloth, tie the spices in some cheesecloth to make a spice bag. If you don’t, don’t worry about it, just get all your spices together.

2. In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, combine cucumbers and onions.

3. In a medium non-reactive saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, salt, horseradish, celery seeds, Pickle Crisp, ginger, turmeric, and your spice bag (or just throw the spices in there). Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and boil gently for 5 minutes.

4. Pour pickling liquid over cucumber mixture. Cover with waxed paper or paper towel and set aside until cooled to room temperature, at least 30 minutes. Discard spice bag if you used one.

5. Pack cucumbers and onions into clean glass jars to within a generous 1/2 inch from the top. Ladle pickling liquid into the jar to cover the vegetables, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Apply clean lids. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. For best results, allow cucumbers to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks and use within three months.

Pickling Spice from Canning for a New Generation

Combine as many of these as you have in an airtight container. I replaced some of the whole spices with ground…don’t tell the recipe police.

1 T. black mustard seeds
1 T. yellow mustard seeds
1 T. allspice berries, crushed
1 T. dill seeds
1/2 T. whole cloves
1 dried red chili, crushed
3 cinnamon sticks, crushed
1/2 nutmeg, crushed
3 bay leaves, crumbled
1 t. black peppercorns
1 t. whole coriander seeds
1 t. cardamom pods, crushed
1/2 star anise pod, crushed

Bucatini with Fresh English Peas and Garlic Scape Pesto

(From Grow Cook Eat by Willi Galloway, Sasquatch Books, 2012)

Serves 4

  • 8 ounces bucatini or spaghetti
  • Eight 10-inch-long garlic scapes
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan (about 1 ounce), plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly shelled English peas (about 2 pounds of peas in their shells)
  • Freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the bucatini and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Do not drain.

Meanwhile, place the garlic scapes in a food processor and chop into small pieces. Add the Parmesan, walnuts, and lemon zest and juice; process into a rough paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the blade running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Process until the oil is thoroughly incorporated and the pesto is fairly smooth, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt.

Place the peas in a colander. When the bucatini is ready, reserve 1⁄4 cup cooking water. Slowly drain the pasta into the colander and let it sit atop the peas like a cap for 1 minute.

To serve, place the bucatini, peas, and about 1/2 cup pesto in a large bowl. Add a few tablespoons reserved cooking water (this helps distribute the pesto evenly) and toss to combine. Serve immediately. Pass extra cheese and pepper at the table.

Butternut Squash Soup from The Joy of Cooking

This vegan version from The Joy of Cooking is delicious and pretty easy.  You can also substitute a different kind of squash, depending on what you have on hand.

Ingredients:

1 large (or a few small) butternut squash, about 3.5 lbs
3 T. vegetable oil
2 large leeks, white part only, chopped
4 t. minced peeled fresh ginger
6 c. vegetable stock total, used in parts
1.5 t. salt

Directions:

1. Cut squash in half, remove seeds, and place cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet.  Add 1/4 inch water to the pan and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake at 375 until tender, 30 to 45 minutes.

2. In a soup pot over medium low heat, heat 3 T. vegetable oil.  Add the leeks and ginger and cook until leeks are tender but not browned, 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Scrape the squash from the skin and add it to the pot along with 4 c. vegetable stock.  Bring to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring and breaking up the squash.

4. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Return to the pot and add the rest of the stock and the salt.  Heat through, then serve.

Makes 8 cups.