Spicy Pickled Vegetables
Makes 3 to 4 pints (6 to 8 cups).
Note: Plan ahead as the vegetables need to be in a brine for 12 hours before you proceed. This is an updated — and spicy — twist on traditional piccalilli, the classic British mix of vegetables in yellow mustard sauce. Serve this on hot dogs, burgers, eggs or sliced cold meats. Use whatever vegetables you prefer, but keep the quantity of vegetables to about 2 pounds, the equivalent of 8 to 9 cups of cut-up vegetables. From “Savory Sweet,” by Beth Dooley and Mette Nielsen.
• 6 c. water
• 1/2 c. salt (not canning salt)
• 1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped carrots (about 1/2 lb.)
• 2 c. coarsely chopped celeriac (also called celery root) (about 1/2 lb.)
• 2 c. coarsely chopped onions (about 1/2 lb.)
• 3 c. small cauliflower florets (about 1/2 lb.)
• 2 c. cider vinegar
• 1/2 c. sugar
• 2 tsp. sweet paprika
• 2 tsp. curry powder
• 2 tsp. mustard powder
• 2 tsp. ground turmeric
• 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
• 2 tbsp. cornstarch, stirred into a little cold water, optional
To prepare the vegetables: In large bowl, whisk together 6 cups water and the salt. As you cut the vegetables, drop them into the salt brine. Mix well, and cover. Leave the covered bowl on the kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight, for 12 hours.
Drain vegetables in colander, and rinse them well under cold running water. Fill bowl with ice water. Set large pot of water over high heat, and bring the water to a boil. Blanch the vegetables until just tender-crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes, being careful they don’t overcook. Drain vegetables and place them in the ice water to shock until cold. Drain vegetables, and place in a large bowl.
To prepare the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, paprika, curry powder, mustard powder, turmeric and cayenne. Set pan over medium-low heat, and bring to gentle boil. Whisk well to dissolve sugar and incorporate spices. Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes to blend flavors. If using cornstarch, whisk it in a little at a time to slightly thicken sauce. Pour sauce over vegetables, and toss to coat.
To assemble: Wash jars, lid and bands in very hot soapy water, rinse well and place upside down on clean towel to drain.
Divide vegetables among the jars. Press down to make the vegetables fit, if necessary. Leave a half-inch of headroom in each jar. Cover each jar with a square of wax paper slightly larger than the jar opening, fold in the corners with a clean spoon, and gently push so some of the sauce comes up over the wax paper. Wipe the rims with a clean wet cloth or paper towel, add the lids and bands, and lightly tighten the bands.
Label the jars. Cool completely, and tighten bands before storing in the refrigerator. Let the pickled vegetables rest for a few days before eating, so the flavors marry. These will store well in the refrigerator for several months.
Minty Raspberry Jam
Makes about 4 half-pints (4 cups).
Note: Plan ahead as the ingredients need to macerate for at least 2 hours. Try using different varieties of mint. Chocolate, orange, pineapple mints all add their subtle notes. Use this jam to top a cheesecake or fill muffins or cupcakes. Whisk jam into frostings and whipped cream. From “Savory Sweet,” by Beth Dooley and Mette Nielsen.
• 2 lb. raspberries (about 8 c.)
• 1 1/2 c. sugar
• 2 tbsp. minced fresh mint
• 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
• 1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
Place raspberries in a 10-inch sauté pan, sprinkle the sugar, mint, lemon juice and zest over the berries, and gently stir everything together with a large spoon. Cover the pan, and macerate the fruit at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight. The sugar will draw the juices from the raspberries, yet they’ll remain intact.
Put a small plate in the freezer for the set test. Uncover the pan, set it over medium heat, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring carefully, until the mixture has thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and do the set test: Put a spoonful of jam on the frozen plate and return it to the freezer for about 2 minutes. Remove and drag your finger through the center. If the mark doesn’t fill back in, the jam is ready to spoon into jars. If the jam isn’t thick enough, return the pan to the heat for a few minutes, then repeat the test.
Wash the jars, lids and bands in very hot soapy water, rinse well and place them upside down on a clean towel to drain.
Spoon jam into the jars, leaving a half inch of headroom to allow for expansion during freezing. Wipe rims with a clean wet cloth or paper towel, add the lids and bands, and lightly tighten the bands. Label the jars. Cool completely and tighten bands before storing the jars in the refrigerator or freezer.
Mint and Chili Sweet Pickled Rhubarb
Makes about 3 half-pints (3 cups).
Note: Finely dice the pickled rhubarb and toss into salsa, or serve over grilled pork or salmon. It also pairs well with soft cheeses and cured meat. From “Savory Sweet,” by Beth Dooley and Mette Nielsen.
• 3/4 lb. rhubarb, cut diagonally into 3/4-in. pieces (about 3 c.)
• 3 sprigs fresh mint
• 6 wide bands of lime zest
• 1 c. cider vinegar
• 1/2 c. sugar
• 2 tsp. salt (not canning salt)
• 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Wash jars, lids and bands in very hot soapy water, rinse well and place upside down on clean towel to drain.
Divide rhubarb among jars. Place 1 sprig of mint and 2 bands of lime zest in each jar.
In small saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, salt and crushed red pepper flakes to a simmer. Cook, stirring to dissolve sugar, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Divide liquid among jars. Cover each with a square of wax paper slightly larger than the jar opening, fold in the corners with a clean spoon and push down gently so some of the brine comes up over the wax paper. Wipe rims with a clean wet cloth or paper towel, add the lids and bands, and lightly tighten the bands.
Label the jars. Cool completely and tighten the bands before storing the jars in the refrigerator.