Tag Archives: onion

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

I love pickles. That’s not a secret. As I type this I have four different types of pickles, pickling. This particular recipe is super easy and amazingly delicious. I serve these pickles often at potlucks and BBQ’s and they are always met with rave reviews. Give them a few days to “pickle” before you get into them, it will be worth it I promise! Again, this is a recipe where you can mess with the spices a whisper and only good things will happen. For example, omit celery seed, add a cinnamon stick, or just use pre-made pickling spice.

Fresh garden goodies ready to be pickled!

Fresh garden goodies ready to be pickle

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

  • 6 medium cucumbers
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 small bell peppers
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • Bay leaves (optional)
Sliced veggies enjoying their salt treatment.

Sliced veggies enjoying their salt treatment.

Thinly slice the cucumbers, onion and peppers. Toss in a large bowl with salt and set aside.

Cooling pickling mixture.

Cooling pickling mixture.

In a saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, mustard and celery seed. Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and add 3 cups of ice. Place vegetables in jars, adding a few garlic cloves  and a bay leaf to each one.

In just a scant few days, these will be amazing!

In just a scant few days, these will be amazing!

Once the ice has cooled the pickling mixture, pour over the vegetables. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

See? Super easy! I hope you enjoy these pickles as much as I do!

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Ag, agriculture, arts & crafts, food, Garden, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Recipe, Uncategorized

Summer Panzanella Salad

My Mom and I first had a Panzanella salad a few years ago. It was at an event that took place in the middle of the summer, on a ranch, outside. It was hot and fairly miserable. The thought of eating anything hot was not appetizing at all. This beautiful salad was served before the main course, it was cool, flavorful and downright pretty. We quickly ran home, lurked up a recipe and this has been a staple in our world since. I noticed some recipes don’t include the mozzarella balls, and that is a big mistake. Those little marinaded cheese balls make this salad. It’s my favorite part. And using good balsamic is a must too, something about the sweetness of it really compliments this dish. If you don’t have zucchini, a cucumber can be used instead and you don’t have to grill it.

Sigh, it's so good.

Sigh, it’s so good.

Panzanella Salad

  • 1/2 loaf’s worth of good crusty bread made into croutons (recipe here)
  • 1.5 pounds cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium zucchini, treated for moisture and lightly grilled (I’ll cover this later)
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 container (who am I kidding? Use two, it’s the best part!) marinaded mozzarella balls
  • 20 to 25 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1/3 cup oil reserved from marinaded mozzarella (or you can use olive oil)
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
See the moisture on the top of the zucchini? This step really does make a difference.

See the moisture on the top of the zucchini? This step really does make a difference.

Slice zucchini into rounds and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 10 minutes, the salt will draw out some of the moisture. Do that for each side of your sliced zucchini. Blotting with towels remove excess salt. I like to grill my zucchini for about 3 minutes on each side or until I get nice grill marks. Cool, and cut into bite sized pieces.

I love this salad because I get to use almost everything from my yarden!

I love this salad because I get to use almost everything from my yarden!

Combine the first 6 ingredients in large mixing bowl. Toss to mix. In a separate bowl mix oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and mustard. Mix well. Pour the vinaigrette over the rest of the salad.

Let chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Pre-dressing

Pre-dressing

Enjoy!!

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Ag, agriculture, food, Garden, Recipe, Uncategorized

Garden Hot Sauce

It was a good garden year for me. I managed to build a fence that kept the rats with horns deer out of my yarden, so I was able to grow all kinds of fun things. This year I inadvertently planted several different pepper plants. I have big peppers, little peppers, purple peppers, sweet peppers, well…..you get the idea.

This was exciting to me because for the past couple years, I’ve wanted to make my own hot sauce. I come from an area and culture (cough…hipsters….cough) that highly prize hot sauce. Sriracha and/or Tapatio are generally used with every meal, on everything. I’ve always heard how basic and easy hot sauce was to make, so I figured the time was now.

I got into fermenting kinda hardcore this summer.

I got into fermenting kinda hardcore this summer.

I selected a very basic and old recipe for my hot sauce – salt water brine.  Other than the time it takes to ferment, this recipe is super quick and easy! The downside is it does take at least a month to bubble and ferment before you can blend and eat it.

 Fermented Hot Sauce

  • 5% Brine (that is 3 TBSP of salt per 1 quart of water)
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard seed per pound of peppers
  • 1 small head of garlic per pound of peppers
  • 1 pound assorted peppers
  • Sliced onion
  • Grape leaves
See how the brine is cloudy and the peppers have lost their volume? That means it's working!

See how the brine is cloudy and the peppers have lost their volume? That means it’s working!


Place your mustard seed and peeled garlic on the bottom of your jar. Place your rough chopped peppers on top. I like to leave the crowns of the pepper on because I think it adds to the flavor. Layer a few slices of onion on top and then your grape leaf. Cover completely with your brine. You may need add a weight to keep your peppers or onion from sticking up through the water.

Cover your jar with either with a lid and ring or with a wire-bale jar.

I used wild grape leaves on top of a slice on onion to keep everything submerged in the brine.

I used wild grape leaves on top of a slice on onion to keep everything submerged in the brine.

Let your jar ferment for 4 to 5 weeks. Once your peppers are no longer crunchy and the bubbling has stopped, remove the grape leaf and drain your peppers, garlic, onion and mustard away from the brine.

The left is the leftover brine, the right is "the sauce".

The left is the leftover brine, the right is “the sauce”.

Blend your peppers in your food processor, adding the brine to reach your desired consistency. I add a whisper of vinegar and sugar to enhance the flavor. Different vinegars can add an unique finish!

I'm not going to lie - this particular sauce was too hot for me! I gave it to my friends!

I’m not going to lie – this particular sauce was too hot for me! I gave it to my friends!

That’s it! Stick it back in a jar or bottle and keep it in your fridge!

1 Comment

Filed under Ag, agriculture, food, Garden, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Recipe, Uncategorized

Salsa Verde

Tomatillos. For years I wondered what they were in my grocery store.

Tomatillos. For years I wondered what they were in my grocery store.

When I went to Mexico for the first time I was amazed at all the salsas and sauces they had at every table. I mean, I’m from California so I’ve been exposed to decent Mexican food for most of my life, but nothing compares with going to the food’s natural habitat to realize how much everything you’ve had before, sucks.

Once I learned what tomatillos were I grew to love them. Not scary at all!

Once I learned what tomatillos were I grew to love them. Not scary at all!

I became enamored with salsa verde (thats the green stuff). When I came home to California the salsa verde I found was lacking. It simply wasn’t flavorful like it was supposed to be, spicy is one thing, but flavor is a whole other.

I took a Mexican cooking class and pumped my Mexican friends for tips and recipes. After a few years, I managed to make a decent salsa verde. I’m pretty hardcore about it these days, I grow jalapenos, tomatillos, onions, and limes.  And know what? It’s worth it!

 Salsa Verde 

  • 6 cups husked and chopped tomatillos
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups jalapenos (I leave most of the seeds in because I like the hot)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (I’ll actually use half bottled lemon)
I like to use foil, it just helps with the cleanup.

I like to use foil, it just helps with the cleanup.

Place peppers and tomatillos on a cookie sheet with edges and broil until you have lovely char marks.

Burnt=yum

Burnt=yum

The basics.

The basics.

Then place the onion, cilantro, garlic and pepper/tomatillo mixture in your cuisinart and mix until smooth.

The cuisinart is one of my favoritist things ever.

The cuisinart is one of my favoritist things ever.

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

At this point you can place it in your refrigerator to enjoy on everything.

OR

Place in sterilized jars and process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes.

This is so good and fairly easy. This winter when I am enjoying my summer tasting salsa verde, I'm going to pat myself on the back!

This is so good and fairly easy. This winter when I am enjoying my summer tasting salsa verde, I’m going to pat myself on the back!

12 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, food, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Recipe, Uncategorized