Friday, July 11, 2008

Local summer - week six

After seeing Pinnochio in an eggplant, I can't stop seeing faces everywhere. You need to look at this one sideways:Jesse created some of his own.Of course, when I look at piles of vegetables on my counters waiting to be turned into sauce and salsa:
or dill pickles (these will be ready in only two days!):
or lemon cucumber...(anyone feel like filling in the blank on what to do with these?), I don't see faces, I see abundance.

Earlier in the week, I made greek salad with our peppers, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers. The feta was not local. For this second greek salad, Nicolas bought locally produced feta cheese, much to the kids' disappointment. Too goaty for them? But I loved it.
I will make gazpacho this week as well. It is the season of the tomato, when our mouths start rebelling from how much of it we are eating, but it still tastes way too good to be moderate.

Here is the quick pickle recipe - they are delicious, just like the ones from NY delis, that I miss.

From the book How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman:

Kosher Pickles

time:1 to 2 days

1/3 cup kosher salt
1 cup boiling water
2 pounds small (Kirby) cucumbers, washed (I used what we had - many more, and much bigger)
At least 5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large bunch dill, preferably fresh and with flowers, or substitute 2 tbls. dried dill and 1 tsp. dill seed or 1 tbls. coriander seeds

-combine the salt and boiling water in a large bowl, stir to dissolve the salt. Add a handful of ice cubes to cool down the mixture, then add all of the remaining ingredients.

-Add cold water to cover. Use a plate that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the bowl and a small weight to hold down the cucumbers under the water. Keep at room temperature.

-Begin sampling the cucumbers after 4 hours if you've quartered them, eight hours if you've halved them or even 48 hours for that really "pickle-y" taste.

-When they are ready, refrigerate them, still in the brine. The pickles will continue to ferment as they sit, more quickly at room temperature, more slowly in the fridge. They will keep well up to a week.

6 comments:

Kat said...

I've never heard of lemon cucumber. Does it taste like the regular green ones? I have a hard time branching out...because I have no idea as to how to prepare some things...or even how to pick them out!

GBK Gwyneth said...

YUM! And you photos have been gorgeous. I love them all -- the gardens, the food, the kids :) Looks like things are going well.

Rebecca said...

Can I come over for dinner??!! Looks like your family eats really well. Gorgeous pictures and blog. I like lemon cukes in a simplified Greek salad with feta cheese, olive oil, diced red tomatoes, and lemon juice.

Angie said...

Nothing warms my heart more than buckets of overflowing vegetables -even if it means W-O-R-K.

I would love to see your recipe for your dill pickles and also your gazpacho, if you don't ming sharing it.

As far as the lemon cukes go, as soon as you figure out what to do with them, will you let me know? I too have an overabundance of them and am puzzled.

Great pictures - your mashed potatoes made my mouth water:)

Madeline said...

Angie, I'll add in the pickle recipe in the post. As for the gazpacho, I do a different one every time - I haven't found the ONE.

Rebecca, thank for the lemon cuke idea. I'll try that. I just don't know what to do with so many.

Tiffany M. said...

Wow! You put my chutney making and freezing vegetables to shame with those pictures (my kitchen seems to have a tenth of the preserving activities going on, in other words). The dill pickles sound delicious and easy; thanks for sharing.
I just made ratatouille for the first time this weekend and loved it.
This is my first time visiting your blog- I look forward to reading more. I'm also a local foods blogger (http://virginiafoodie.typepad.com).