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pickle

Pickled Hungarian Wax Peppers

TIME: 20 MINUTES; SERVES: 2 QUARTS

We grow Hungarian Wax Peppers specifically for this recipe. If you can’t find these neon yellow heirlooms at your local farmers’ market, substitute banana peppers, although they pack a little less punch.

These quick pickles are delicious topped on any soup, stew, burger, wrap, egg dish, salad—you name it. The perfect amount of heat, paired with a swift kick of acid, is sure to brighten any dish.

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds yellow Hungarian Wax Peppers (20 - 30 peppers, depending on size)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
4 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
4 tbls. kosher salt
2 tbls. black peppercorns
2 tsp. black mustard seeds

METHOD

  1. If you are very sensitive to hot peppers, wear latex gloves. Wash the peppers and trim off the stem. Slice the peppers into rounds (don’t worry about removing the seeds).

  2. Divide the peppers into 2 clean quart jars. Place 1 clove of garlic, 1 tbls. peppercorns, and 1 tsp. mustard seeds in each jar.

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Pour the hot liquid over the peppers to cover.

  2. Seal with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 2 days before eating. These will keep in the fridge for at least 2 months.

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Turmeric-Brined Eggs with Star Anise & Cinnamon

TIME: 15 MINUTES (not including boiling eggs and overnight brining); SERVES: 1 QUART (~8 eggs)

Living in Pennsylvania, I’ve become very familiar with the classic PA Dutch dish, “Beet Pickled Eggs”. The fuchsia hue is gorgeous, and got me thinking of other ingredients I could use to color boiled eggs, which of course brought me to: turmeric!

Adding a small cinnamon stick and star anise pod kicks up this brine’s game. I love to serve these sprinkled with “everything seasoning” for a fun appetizer, or make pickled-deviled eggs with turmeric mayo.

INGREDIENTS

~8 “9 minute” boiled eggs (or however many you can squish in a jar comfortably)
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 cups filtered water
2 tbls. kosher salt
2 tbls. black peppercorns
1 small cinnamon stick
2 star anise pods
1 tsp. ground turmeric or 1 tbls. peeled, fresh grated turmeric

METHOD

  1. Peel the boiled eggs and set aside.

  2. Mix remaining ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

  3. Place eggs in a quart jar, and cover with the brine. Let sit in the fridge overnight, shaking every so often.

  4. After you serve the eggs, you can use the brine again to pickle veggies or another batch of eggs.


Recycled brine for Daikon radish, carrot & celery pickles.

Recycled brine for Daikon radish, carrot & celery pickles.

Pickled Garlic Scapes

TIME: 20 MINUTES (not including optional canning); SERVES: 1 PINT (multiply by 8 to can a full hot water bath)

Garlic scapes are among the most highly anticipated Spring offerings. Like peas and strawberries, they are fleeting—moreso because there is just one harvest from each garlic plant. The flavor is milder and sweeter than garlic cloves, with a tender crunch. They can be used fresh or lightly sautéed in any dish you would otherwise use cloves, but they truly shine when bathed in brine.

*A little growing knowledge: For storage garlic, cloves are planted in the Fall and left to overwinter. In the Spring, the clove shoots up a green stalk and continues to flesh out its bulb. Before the bulb is fully formed, the plant will reveal its flower—or garlic “scape”—this must be harvested off each plant before fully open to prevent the bulb from shattering, rendering it useless.

Because of the need to promptly harvest every scape, growers usually have a one-time bounty. I try to can at least a dozen or so jars to give as gifts throughout the season. If you don’t grow garlic, and just want to make a single batch, this recipe can be adapted as a refrigerator pickle (no need to bust out the hot water bath). Just allow the flavors to meld for a few weeks before serving. Pickled scapes are an amazing addition to an hors d’oeuvres platter, alongside sharp cheese and cured meat.

INGREDIENTS

About 2 - 3 bunches garlic scapes (1/2 pound)
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
1/4 tsp. coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1 whole dried chili, or 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 whole dill head, or 1 tsp. dill seed
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
3/4 cup water
1 tbls. kosher salt (non-iodized)

METHOD

  1. Wash the scapes. Trim off tough ends and blossoms (you can save these bits for stock).

  2. Place all the spices into a sterilized mason jar, minus the salt. Stuff the garlic scapes into the jar, either by trimming to size, or wrapping them around in a circular pattern, and then filling in the center.

  3. Heat the vinegar, water, and salt in a saucepan until boiling. Pour into the jar.

  4. From here you can continue with processing in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to make shelf-stable pickles, or simply put a tight fitting lid on the jar and set in the fridge for a couple weeks before tasting.

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Marinated Italian Eggplant

TIME: 20 MINUTES (plus salting & marinating) SERVES: 1+ PINT
Adapted from Linda Ziedrich’s ‘The Joy of Pickling’

I get a lot of questions about how to best use eggplants. There are plenty of ways to blister, broil, grill, or purée this nightshade, however, one of my favorite uses is raw! When I have too many young, fresh fruits, I make this version of marinated eggplant (drowned in olive oil, because…always). This is delicious with sharp cheese & salami as a tasty antipasto, or in sandwiches with arugula, provolone and roasted red peppers.

INGREDIENTS

2 - 3 smallish Italian or Asian Eggplant, peeled, halved & sliced into 1/4 inch half moons (about 2 cups)
1 tbls. kosher salt
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 - 4 garlic cloves, slivered
10 - 12 Italian basil leaves, torn
A pinch crushed red pepper flakes

METHOD

  1. Sprinkle the salt over the eggplant in a colander, and let drain for as little as 30 minutes, but up to 1 day.

  2. Squeeze out any extra moisture from the eggplant. Toss with the vinegar, oil, & crushed red pepper flakes in a large bowl, and let sit for another hour, turning occasionally.

  3. Layer the eggplant, garlic, & basil in a jar and gently press down.

  4. Pour any remaining marinade over. If it doesn’t cover, add more olive oil.

  5. Seal and let sit in the fridge for at least 3 days before tasting. Make sure to add more olive oil if necessary. The eggplant will keep for a couple weeks. Let it reach room temperature before serving, because the oil will solidify.

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