Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Small Batch Spiny Gherkin Pickles & Doin' All The Things.

to old friends and new. 
Small Batch Spiny Gherkin Pickles
Doin' All The Things.
(also, i'm kinda famous now.)
garlicky brine is always the answer.

I stumbled across these Hmong Farms-grown maxixie cucumbers at the Brookline farmers' market last week. After excitedly staring at them for a good two minutes I picked out what looked like a good bunch (?) and brought them to the cashier. My gleeful confusion was not exactly mirrored by the guy who sold them to me, but I would not be deterred. I had no idea what they were or what to do with them but was absolutely certain that they needed to be mine. Find a strange, vaguely Seussian variety of gherkin while doing your weekly produce shopping? 
The only option is to pickle the hell out of it. 

Garlicky Small Batch Spiny Gherkin 
(Maxixie Cucumber) Pickles
(makes one quart or two pints)

1 bunch spiny gherkins (also know as maxixe cucumbers), about 8
1c apple cider vinegar
1/4c water
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 large head of dried dill, or 2 teaspoons dill seed
1Tbsp kosher salt
1tsp unrefined sugar
1/2tsp brown mustard seeds

Add garlic, mustard seeds and dill seeds to a clean quart canning jar, 
or distribute evenly between two pint jars.
Wash and thoroughly scrub gherkins, then cut lengthwise into quarters or eighths, 
depending on your pickle thickness preference.
Whisk together vinegar, water, salt and sugar until dissolved.
Stuff cucumber slices into jars, pouring water and vinegar mix over top until covered.
Cover jar(s) tightly, give them a good shake, and refrigerate.
The longer they sit, the more the flavors will develop.

all the pickled things.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bulgur-Lentil Salad with Preserved Lemon, Cucumber and Mint.

true love salad days.
Bulgur-Lentil Salad with 
Preserved Lemon, Cucumber & Mint.
its a forever kind of thing.

I couldn't live without cucumbers. Or, more accurately, I could live without them but their absence would cause me to spiral into an deep, dark food-based depression from which there would be little to no chance of recovery. I'd shuffle around the kitchen, muttering about how good things used to be between us, cucumbers and I. About how I was sure from the first time we met that it was gonna be a long-haul kind of thing. I'd bore my friends with old stories of our perfect summers together, all vine-y, gourd-y love. Of dirty fingernails and straight-from-the-garden goodness. Of Maine vacations spent biting into lemon cucumbers like apples. Love would begin to feel foreign and alienating and I'd stay up nights wondering
how I could have been so wrong in thinking we were forever.

The point of all this rambling is to say that you are my everything, Cucumis Sativus.
Don't ever leave, I'd be lost (and probably pretty annoying) without you.

And not to take anything away from this epic love manifesto,
but preserved lemon and fresh mint are pretty dope, too...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fresh Corn & Basil Quinoa Fritters plus Scenes from the Weekend

frittered and rocked.
Fresh Corn, Basil & Sweet Onion Quinoa Fritters
 Produce, Punk and Pizza.

Dusting off an old favorite for you guys today because...SUMMER. 
Get frittering.
Fresh Corn, Basil & Sweet Onion Quinoa Fritters
(makes about 8 medium fritters)

1c quinoa/ 2c water
1 cob of sweet corn, shucked and grated (approximately 1/3c)
1/2c whole wheat flour
1/3c minced sweet onion
1/2c minced basil
2Tbsp ground flax seeds
 6Tbsp boiling water
2Tbsp nutritional yeast
2tsp sea salt
1tsp black pepper
1tsp crushed red pepper
1tsp paprika
Oil for frying

Link to the original recipe here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wild Blueberry & Nectarine Cobbler plus Scenes from the Weekend

Wild Blueberry & Nectarine Cobbler 
Some Scenes from the Weekend.
the truest of true things.

In my world, summer and Maine are inextricably linked. Summer will always mean Maine, and Maine summers will always mean wild blueberries. In August they are EVERYWHERE. At markets, in parking lot fruit stands, for sale on the side of the road (every. single. road.) and they are perfect.
Summer also means fruit cobbler.
The more clever among you can probably see where I'm going with this...

oven bound.

Wild Blueberry & Nectarine Cobbler
(serves 4-6)

1c whole wheat pastry flour
1/3c unrefined sugar
1c non dairy milk (I prefer coconut)
2tsp baking soda
2tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2tsp salt
1tsp vanilla
2c sliced nectarines
2c wild blueberries, washed and patted dry
1/4tsp cinnamon
1/4c unrefined coconut oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Melt coconut oil in an 8" square baking dish by placing it in the oven while heating.
Sift together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon) 
in a medium mixing bowl.
Add milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir until combined.

Remove baking dish with melted coconut oil from the oven.
Gently pour 3/4 of the batter into the pan, spread fruit over top, 
then add remainder of batter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
Serve warm or cooled.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pan-Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Lemony Walnut Ricotta

Pan-Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms with 
Lemony Walnut Ricotta.
stop showing off, summer.
I've never really been one to succumb to impulse purchases while grocery shopping. I try to approach the wall of delicious chocolatey/ crunchy things one must pass through before getting to the cashier with a "don't tell me what to do" kind of 'tude. I am cheap and I can make most of this stuff my damn self. I don't need to spend a dollar on your impossibly tiny square of dark chocolate, Co-Op. So there.
And those $7 bags of raw kale chips? Don't even get me started. 
But the farmers' market is a whole 'nother story. I never fail to get distracted by shiny, new, delicious things and if those things are affordable, all the better. When these ridiculously photogenic squash blossoms caught my eye on the way out of the farmers' market yesterday I HAD to have them.
And only three dollars for 12 of the most gorgeous flowers you ever did see?
No self respecting, produce loving cheapskate could pass that up.
I plunked down some cash and made them mine.

piping walnut ricotta into blossoms.

Pan Fried Squash Blossoms with
Lemony Walnut Ricotta
(makes 12 stuffed blossoms)

1 bunch squash blossoms, about 12, 
preferably with stems attached

3/4c raw walnut pieces
1 clove garlic
2Tbsp nutritional yeast
1Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2tsp mellow white miso
1/2tsp ground sea salt
1/4tsp cracked black pepper
1-2Tbsp water

2-3Tbsp olive oil, for frying
extra lemon juice and black pepper for garnish.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Scenes from the Weekend.

this is a thing that is happening now.
Scenes from the Weekend (and a little beyond).
rainy saturday at the egleston farmers market.

raw beets all summer long.