I’m having a pickle party! Tonight! People, pickles, pickletinis, pickle-backs! I’m pretty dang excited. While frantically cleaning and preparing goods for tonight (all in the midst of the impending storm of the century that is hitting the NE tonight), I figured I’d get creative with my jarred goods… more recipes to come. Originally when I put up canned chana masala earlier this summer, it was with the intentions of canning hummus. Turns out you can’t put up tahini (even though the jars were pressure canned) due to the sesame oils. This hummus recipe is intended to include this canned chana masala recipe… BUT, if you aren’t trying to make the pressure canned masala recipe, you can simply add the raw ingredients (tomatoes, spices, garlic, etc.) to the hummus before you process it. Yum.
The thing I didn’t know when choosing the ingredients for this recipe (I just liked the sound of it) was that both the parsnip and the parsley root are winter vegetables whose edible part develops underground. While similar in look, yet quite different in taste and smell (I kind of detest the smell of parsnips), the parsnip and parsley root are both members of the Umbelliferae family. The Umbelliferae family also includes carrots, celery, parsley, chervil, fennel, and celeriac. The melange of these two ingredients came from the idea that the fresh bitter flavor of parsley would “balance” the sweetish and nutty tastes of parsnips. Furthermore, I figured adding whole black peppercorns would only intensify the slightly peppery flavor or parsley leafs. With the hopes of cutting the chewy center of the parsnips, I decided to coin the parsnips instead of pickling sticks. Try these parsley pickled parsnips with any European or Mediterranean dish. Enjoy!
I bring you this blog post from the passenger seat driving to the South Berwick farmer’s market to get more parsnips. I had originally planned on making this weekend’s recipe pickled parsnips, but apparently when you let organic veggies sit for a week in the crisper they spoil. So… back to the market we go (turns out that I didn’t find parsnips after all).
So what’s the deal with colorful cauliflower anyway? Of the many different varieties of cauliflower, the color in purple and orange cauliflower has different sources. The purple color comes from the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is also found in red cabbage and red wine. The orange comes from a genetic mutation that gives the veggie more beta carotene. Orange cauliflower also holds 25% more vitamin A than the regular white cauliflower you find in the grocery store. Albeit, the anthocyanin in the purple bunch turned the final pickle product a brilliant reddish hue, the color is undeniably pretty. Enjoy this colorful dill and red pepper cauliflower pickle as part of your favorite pickle assortment, serve it at a pickle party (my plan), or add it to any salad in need of a colorful kick.
Two and a half weeks since I’ve canned and apparently I’ve returned to newbie status of breaking jars! Breaking the bottom off of quart jar is not only inconvenient in that you risk the loss of your pickled veggies, but also because this ill-fate forces you to dump your canning water before processing the remainder of your jars. So it goes… plus, it’s a good reminder that just because I can all the time, doesn’t mean I’m a canning badass that can rush or skip steps. On the topic of not canning for several weeks, comes the struggle of trying to keep up the local and in-season integrity of this here blog. If you’re lucky enough to live in a city with a year round weekly farmers’ market, awesome for you (cough… CA, MD… and all the other places I’ve lived). Here in seacoast New Hampshire, the local farmer association switches off the bi-weekly location of the market. With the holidays, snow, etc. I really haven’t had the access to local, fresh, and in-season goods.
This past Saturday, bright eyed and bushy tailed, we made it to the Exeter, NH location of the market. After several laps around the high school lunchroom, I decided these Brookford Farm squash and parsnips (recipe later this week) were good post-break pickle ingredients. I feel that with winter root (and non-root) veggies, that pickling flavors become a bit tricky. No longer does ones have access to fresh and local herbs/seeds. Last winter I put up some ginger pickled butternut squash, being somewhat un-familiar with squash varieties, Keith suggested that I use carnival squash as it exhibits a sweeter flavor than it’s butternut cousin. People always assume that I have a well-thought-out plan when thinking up recipes. Quite the opposite really, typically the way things go is 1) wander aimlessly around the market distracted by everything and everyone, 2) pick whatever is in season, 3) get home and muse over the ingredient for a day or two, 4) open the spice drawer, and finally 5) hope that the resulting canned good is amazing, which I confess isn’t always the case. I knew I wanted to do something sweet and spicy, yet simple, with these carnival squash. Garam masala + brown sugar + hot pepper = weirdly perfect. Enjoy these masala habanero pickled squash wedges as is or serve them as a sweet side to any Indian main dish.
Thankfully I can finally say it, “the holidays are over”! I had a rather low key holiday. I decided to stay home as Thanksgiving was a bit hectic this year, and a break from everyone and everything was exactly what the “doctor” ordered. I considered getting out for a bike ride or hike on the beautiful (50F) day, but instead found myself drinking and pickling these here root veggies. So… how did everyone fare? Get any pickling books, gadgets, appliances? I received a couple more pieces to add to my already excessive Le Creuset collection (thanks mom).
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been slacking on pickle recipes and have been focusing my attention on jellies, chutneys, and mustard recipes instead. To be honest, with the exception of carrots, it’s hard to get excited about pickling turnips and other brownish root veggies. When I came across a pre-packaged mixture of local, no-spray root veggies from Garens Greens at Riverside Farm, I was instantly reminded of my summer-time jardiniere and figured because carrots, turnips, and radishes are amazing as pickles à solo, a winter “melange” à trois would likely be equally as awesome. Including beets to the mix seemed like an obvious addition here, but I decided to leave them out as I wasn’t trying to discolor the final product.
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