Daily Archives: July 2, 2010

Warming up to Summer Preserving

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We haven’t yet gotten into canning this year. Our cherry plums all ripened on one of the hottest weekends so far, so we gathered them and put them into gallon sized ziplocks to wait for a cooler time to can. But we have been playing around with pickling. We got our first successful cauliflower harvest this year! We’ve tried in the past and either they went straight to bloom or were covered in bugs – yuck! But this year for some reason, Lady Luck was with us in the cauliflower department.

We tend to like everything pickled so we thought we’d give pickled cauliflower a try. We had a few ripe zucchinis too so we threw those in for good measure. It worked out incredibly and now our two boys declare cauliflower their favorite! Any method of preparing veggies that makes them the favorite of a 3 & 5 year old set of boys is welcome in my book. Here is how we did it.

Pickled Cauliflower

For the brine:
4 c. white vinegar
2 c. water
3 T. salt

Into each jar: a heaping Tablespoon of pickling spices (we get ours from Penzeys) & 3 garlic cloves sliced
Blanch the cauliflower by blanching in hot water briefly, lift it out and place it into ice water. Zucchini only needs a 30 second blanch. Place cooled veggies into jars and cover with brine. Refrigerate and enjoy!

The other recipe we tried was for zucchini from a new book called La Cucinathat has become Scott’s new bible. The book is an exhaustive collection of recipes gathered by the Accademia Italiana della Cucina. They traveled all over Italy talking to every nona they could and gathered over 2,000 recipes to create this archive. It is a huge book! Anyway, this recipe for zucchini asks you to slice them and lay them in the sun until dry. We didn’t know exactly how long or how dry they meant so we just left them out until the outside skins were dry – a few hours. Saute them in olive oil. And layer them with chopped mint, raw garlic and a healthy sprinkle of vinegar (they suggest white wine vinegar, we used just plain white vinegar). The immediate results are fairly unimpressive. We had it right afterwards for dinner and weren’t that excited about it. However, the next couple of days I pulled them out of the fridge and had them for lunch and they were incredible. This recipes really does need to sit at least for 24 hours. I look forward to making this again.

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Have you done any summer preserving yet?

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