by Marnie Record, workforce specialist, LLCC Value-Added Local Food program
With the passing of the first official day of summer comes the beginning of the garden bounty. Time to start preserving the abundant harvest. Your winter taste buds (and wallet) will thank you when you pull vine-ripened tomatoes from your freezer or jarred fresh asparagus from the pantry in January. Not into the gardening side of things, but looking for bulk foods to preserve? Ask a farmer for “seconds” of the produce you are looking to purchase. They often offer discounted prices for those items that are not pretty enough for market shelves.
Pickling is the easiest and most versatile method of preserving. Just about anything growing in your garden can be pickled – green beans, garlic, mushrooms, strawberries, cauliflower and more. Two options for pickling include quick-pickling and canned pickling. A quick pickle is like marinating while a canned pickle uses a stronger brine and a water-bath canning process to extend the shelf life.
Jar up the sharp tang and crisp snap of summer with these pickle recipes.
In our preservation class last fall we preserved the beets, the stems and the leaves separately. This reduces waste and provides different textures to use in finished dishes.
*1 pound beets
*1 cup beet juice (reserved)
*1/2 cup sugar
*2 cups white vinegar
*1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
*3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
*1 teaspoon whole coriander
*1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
*3 whole allspice
*2 teaspoons kosher salt
*1 tablespoon hot sauce
Cut beets into bite sized pieces (quarters or thirds, depending on size of beet).
Cover with water, boil, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender.
Cool and peel, saving 1 cup of beet juice from boil.
While beets cool, combine 1 cup of beet juice with white vinegar, sugar, and 2 lemon slices and simmer until sugar dissolves.
Combine remaining ingredients in a quart canning jar.
Add cooled beets to jar and fill with beet juice and vinegar mixture.
Seal and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Bread and Butter Pickles
*2 # kirby cucumbers, sliced ¼ inch
*1 onion, thinly sliced
*2 tablespoon kosher salt
*2 cups cider vinegar
*½ cup to 1 cup sugar
*1 tsp tumeric, ground
*2 tablespoons whole mustard seed
*1 teaspoon celery seed
*½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
*6 whole garlic cloves
Salt sliced cucumbers and let stand for 30 minutes.
Combine all other ingredients in heavy saucepot.
After 30 minutes rinse cucumbers well in cold running water, set aside.
Bring all ingredients to a boil, add cucumbers, stir well and remove from heat.
Let cool to room temperature and then chill.
Cherries aren’t in season for a while, but we have sampled this at several events promoting the LLCC Value-Added Local Food program and it has been the most popular by far. The National Center for Home Food Preservation website provides information on using boiling water canners, and if this is your first time canning, be sure to read their guide called “The Principles of Home Canning.”
*12 ounces sugar
*6 ounces red wine
*4 ounces water
*3 ounces Dijon mustard
*2 teaspoons kosher salt
*1 tablespoon white or black mustard seeds
*3 pounds cherries, de-Stemmed and pitted (yield 7 cups pitted cherries)
In a heavy bottom pot, combine, vinegar, wine, water, mustard and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to low simmer. Add cherries and cook on medium heat until softened, about 20 minutes.
Ladle cherry mostarda into jars keeping ½ inch head space.
Follow directions for boiling water canners.
A great addition to tacos, burgers, salads and more.
Makes about 2 cups
*1 medium red onion, about 5 ounces
*1/2 teaspoon sugar
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*3/4 cup rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
Possible flavor additions:
*1 small clove of garlic, halved
*5 black peppercorns
*5 allspice berries
*3 small springs of thyme
*1 small dried chili
Start 2 or 3 cups of water on to boil in a kettle. Peel and thinly slice the onion into approximately 1/4-inch moons. Peel and cut the garlic clove in half.
In the container you will be using to store the onions, add the sugar, salt, vinegar, and flavorings. Stir to dissolve.
Place the onions in the sieve and place the sieve in the sink. Slowly pour the boiling water over the onions and let them drain.
Add the onions to the jar and stir gently to evenly distribute the flavorings.
Serve in a few hours up to several weeks. Can be served after 30 minutes and best served in a week.
LLCC will offer an eight-week preservation class during the fall 2016 semester.
Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Value-Added Local Food, Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, and Baking/Pastry, and non-credit cooking and food classes through our Community Learning Culinary Institute. For more information, visit our website at www.llcc.edu.