Real Food
Savor the flavors of everyday real food, fresh from the garden or stored on your pantry shelves.


Foraging Daylilies and Other Wild Edibles

Bouquet gathered quickly from roadside

I am learning about foraging. Nobody in my family forages, although my mom once made cabbage rolls using wild grape leaves. I remember them being delicious. My dad offered to pay us kids to dig up the dandelions in the yard so that he wouldn’t have to. He hated them. So did we and so declined after digging up the first few. Their roots go deep. The neighbours had their lawn sprayed to kill off their unwanted plants. Who knew you could eat them?

Very few people I’ve spoken to are interested in adding weeds to their diet. Why? We are surrounded by an abundance of free food in our natural surroundings. This is an opportunity at hand, blessings bestowed upon us, the fruits of Mother Earth.

We have been taught food comes from stores. We have been distracted by misleading advice and a lack of proper education concerning the things that count. We have overlooked the treasure trove of edibles that pop up out of nowhere, and everywhere, on this wonderful planet.

The average North American diet consists of a lot of processed food — junk food. It satisfies our cravings but doesn’t meet our nutritional needs. There’s an excess of sugar, starch, salt, fat, chemicals, colours and fillers. The average medicine cabinet is full of pill bottles. Many people depend on diet supplements and meal replacers to receive their required nutrients. The food industry, health and pharmaceutical markets are booming. Meanwhile, North America is suffering from poor nutrition. We have many unhealthy people seeking medical attention for an easy solution they don’t want to hear.

Find Nutrition in Your Own Backyard

The solution: a better diet.  Better meaning more natural, affordable, and sustainable. That solution could be growing in your own backyard.

Abundant. If you don’t have a yard, take a walk down the street. Edible wild plants are usually pretty easy to find. There’s a cornucopia of edibles that we have taken for granted, because that is what we have learned. You probably walk by these plants every day. After you start looking, you’ll be amazed: Dandelion, plantain, pigweed, thistle, and many other edible plants grow wild by the roadside, in field edges, and ditches. These plants are chocked full of vitamins and fibre.

Nutritious. Foraging is gleaning the earth of these so-called invasive plants — turning those lemons into lemonade. Surprisingly, the vitamin content of many weeds is often higher than the pretty vegetables in the grocery stores.

Resilient. Another advantage of wild plants is that they’re resilient. They come back every year (unless you’re taking all the roots). Many wild weeds grow faster than cultivated vegetables. They are also less susceptible to predators, disease, drought, floods, and frost. Weeds are tough! They break through concrete foundations and burrow through asphalt.

Convenient. Our Creator has made sure our natural food supply will survive. An additional benefit of foraging is enjoying the fresh air and the exercise. And what about the times when going to the grocery store isn’t an option? I’ve decided to forage for the greens in my diet until the snow flies. My garden has been neglected for a few years (while I wrote a book) and now must wait for pigs in the spring to clear it, so discovering foraging is an absolute bonus!

I love gardening but it involves many hours of hard work. When foraging, you simply harvest.

Foraged Daylily Leaves

Curried daylily flower buds and rice

Finding daylilies. Lately I’ve been eating a lot of daylily leaves. I transplanted a good number of plants to my 6 ½ acres 20 years ago, and there’s enough here now to support a family. This type of foraging in my yard takes no time at all. I walk out with a pair of scissors and am back in with lily leaves, green onions, and fresh oregano in two minutes. As long as a few leaves remain on a plant, it will continue to grow. The back roads here are lined with daylilies. They seem to grow straight out of the gravel.

Uses. Daylilies are one of the few plants that can be eaten in its entirety: roots, leaves, stems (they would be chewy), flower buds and flowers (remove the stamens first). The leaves are easy to cut up with scissors into half-inch pieces and can be added to almost anything: an omelette, stir-fry, pizza, a rice dish — there are endless possibilities. The flower buds can be or sautéed, steamed or boiled, like yellow beans, but require only a couple minutes cooking time.

Daylily care. In the spring, the daylily is one of the first plants to poke its sword-shaped leaves through the ground. It grows to 1 metre tall. It has beautiful, bold, orange-striped flowers in midsummer and is easy to recognize for harvesting roots even after the plant has died down. It’s prolific, easy to transplant, and quickly fills in any empty garden areas. The daylily grows in any soil and needs no maintenance other than watering when first transplanting. While each flower lasts only one day, each stem has several flowers.

Cooking daylilies. The only problem with these wild plants is that most of them are bland, have an edge, or taste like grass. That can be easily remedied with the addition of herbs or spices. I always add onions and garlic for nutrition and taste. Curry makes anything taste great. I’ll eat grass — if it’s smothered in butter and parmesan cheese. It’s easy to sneak a lot of foraged greens into soups and stews without anyone noticing. I treat most weeds as I would spinach. Try different recipes and cooking techniques to find out which ones you prefer.

Roadside bounty of wild edibles

Using Foraged Plants

Educating oneself as to what exactly can be eaten from the wild, and what can’t, is crucial. Some plants are harmful if eaten raw or even touched (stinging nettle), but beneficial when cooked, dried or made into tea. Research as much as you can. There’s a lot of great information out there.

Many plants are better when they’re young but harder to identify at that stage. Remember where certain plants grow and return for them the next spring. It’s important to stay clear of areas that may have been sprayed with pesticides, or plants that are growing to close to the road.

I’m becoming pickier about what I’m spending my time, energy and money on. Although I’ve lived without electricity for 20 years, I’m interested in reducing my carbon footprint even further. I’m hardly self-sufficient. I’ve taken the time to smell the roses and consider the beauty of the lilies of the field. I’ve discovered these plants go beyond being beautiful, they were meant for food, beauty aids, teas, and healing.

There are secrets in the roots below the blue flowers of the chicory, in the young green pods of the milkweed, in the velvety red cones of the sumac. Our Creator has provided a feast for the eyes, leaves of healing, and a banquet of edibles.

Let’s become more independent. Let’s take the time to educate ourselves in the stuff we need to know. Let’s become more familiar with our planet and enjoy the health benefits of the natural bounty available to us, for free.

Jo deVries (Jo of the Woods) designed and helped build her off-grid Ontario home, where she and her son have enjoyed a pioneer-type life-style without electricity. She is the author of Does Your House Know Where South Is? and generously shares what she has learned during her on-going journey of turning a piece of bush land in to a self-sufficient homestead. Connect with Jo of the Woods and read all of Jo’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts.

Essential Sauces for Summer: Herbaceous Chimichurri

Chimichurri Sauce

Along with suntans, splashing in the river, and extra-long days, one of the true joys of summer is the abundance of produce. Whether it be from our home gardens or farmer’s market haul, the bounty of herbs, fruits, and vegetables overflow this time of year, and many of us are trying to find new, delicious ways to use these goodies. This is where homemade sauces can be our summertime kitchen superheroes. Making sauces from scratch, using in-season produce can help use local foods in creative ways, adding new flavors, textures, and even nutrients that store-bought sauces and spreads can’t compete with. There are a few sauces I consider to be must-haves for summer cooking, which can be made with local ingredients this time of year and take even the simplest dishes to the next level, and one of these sauces is my Herbaceous Chimichurri.

Chimichurri is an olive-oil- and herb-based sauce, hailing from Argentina, that has a consistency similar to pesto. While basil-rich pesto tends to be the darling sauce in the summer, I much prefer chimichurri. Its brightness and intense flavor bring so much to any dish, and I find it to be even more versatile than pesto. I love this recipe as a way to use up fresh herbs that need to find a use ASAP. I even include the stems of the herbs here, as they are packed with flavor and fiber, leaving as little waste behind as possible. Chimichurri is ideal served drizzled over grilled steak, smoked chicken, juicy corn on the cob and any roasted or grilled vegetable you can imagine.

The recipe below makes about two cups, but feel free to multiply the batch and freeze it to capture the flavor of summer all year long. Don’t get too caught up in the amounts here; use what you have on hand and adjust the spices to your liking—you can’t go wrong using up all of that garden-fresh goodness!

Herbaceous Chimichurri

Prep time: 30 minutes

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 6 scallions (can sub green garlic, garlic scapes, or even ramps when in season), chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems included, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems included, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeño pepper, diced (adjust to your heat preference)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh oregano (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil (or 1 Tbs. dried)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil—use a good quality, extra virgin olive oil.

Directions:

1. In a blender or food processor, pulse together all ingredients, except for the olive oil, a few times to break up the large pieces.

2. With the blender running, drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture comes together into a smooth paste. If you prefer a thicker sauce, use about 1/2 cup of olive oil, and increase this up to ¾ cup if you prefer a thinner sauce.

3. Transfer to a jar for storage and refrigerate until ready to use. This sauce will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge, or it can be frozen for longer-term storage in a freezer-safe container or ice cube trays.

Laura Poe is a Registered Dietitian and traditional foods instructor. She homesteads in Wisconsin where she regular contributes to Edible Madison. Connect with Laura at Laura Poe, RD, for private practice appointments (distance consults available), upcoming classes, newsletter subscriptions, and more. Her nutrient-dense recipes can be found on Laura’s blog, Brine & Broth, and you can see what she has been cooking and creating on her Instagram @brineandbroth. Read all of Laura’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts.

Make Naturally Sweet Carob or Honey Locust Powder from Foraged Pods

Chances are that you’ve got a carob or a honey locust (depending on your location) tree near you. The pods from these trees can be turned into naturally sweet powders that are healthy, tasty, versatile ingredients to have on hand. Making them isn’t complicated, so long as you remember that it is not the beans (seeds) that you eat, but the pods surrounding those seeds.

Carob (Ceratonia siliqua) grows in warmish climates that match its origins around the Mediterranean and in the Middle East. In the U.S., look for it in California and the Southwest.

Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) and thornless honey locust (G. triacanthos var. inermis) are in the legume family (Fabaceae), just like carob. But honey locust is considerably more cold- hardy than carob. It has been widely planted around the northern hemisphere. In the U.S., you’ll find it throughout the Northeast and in parts of the Midwest.

Foraging Carob and Honey Locust

Both trees have the compound leaves and the pods bearing multiple beans (seeds) typical of the legume family. Here’s more detailed information on identifying carob and honey locust.

Both trees start dropping their pods in late summer and early autumn. You want to gather the ones that have fallen off the tree of their own accord. You can simply gnaw on these fallen pods for a delightfully sweet trail snack. But if you yank the brown-but-not-yet-ripe-enough-to-fall ones off the trees, your face will pucker up in disgust at the metallic, astringent taste. Patience pays off with these particular wild foods.

Perhaps because carob is often compared to chocolate, many people assume that it is the seeds that yield the sweet powder. But although with cacao that is true, it’s not the case with carob, nor with honey locust.

Make Carob Powder or Honey Locust Powder

There are reports of the seeds of both these trees having been used as food, but more often it is the sweet pods surrounding the seeds that are mentioned. We’re going to ignore the seeds. Trust me on this: I once simmered honey locust seeds for 12 hours and they still didn’t soften to anything resembling edible, never mind palatable. And carob seeds? If one accidentally makes it into your electric grinder it will emerge from the experience unscathed.

1. To get rid of the seeds, it helps to soak the whole pods. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the pods, remove from the heat. Let soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. (Or longer. I once started soaking a batch of carob pods, got overwhelmingly busy with other stuff, and got back to them two days later. They were fine.)

2. De-seed the pods by splitting them lengthwise and removing the seeds. This will be easy to do after they’ve soaked.

3. Break the de-seeded pods up into small pieces.

4. Dehydrate or roast the pod pieces. You can do this in a dehydrator set on the medium setting, usually 135 degrees Fahrenheit, or in your oven on its lowest “warm” setting, usually around 150 degrees Fahrenheit

5. Grind the dried pod pieces in an electric coffee grinder — or go old school and roll them out on a flat stone using round stones as “pestles” or grinders. An empty wine bottle also works as a pestle (don’t ask me why I know this).

6. You can stop at this stage and you will have a sweet but granular product that will be tasty in energy bars and granola.

7. Keep in mind that neither carob nor honey locust will melt into a liquid state the way chocolate does. For beverages, smoothies, custards and other recipes in which grit would be unwelcome, I recommend sifting your pod powder. Do this simply by dumping the ground pods into a fine mesh sieve and tapping the sides of the sieve over a bowl. Save the gritty stuff that remains in the sieve for products where that texture doesn’t matter. Bottle the fine, sieved powder separately.

Okay, so you’ve got your delicious sweet pod powder. Now what?

Add it to smoothies. Mash it up with some peanut butter and oatmeal to make your own energy balls or bars. Cookies and muffins are begging for it. Because your pod powder is naturally sweet, you’ll be able to cut down on the sugar, honey, or other sweetener you’d be using otherwise.

Leda Meredith is a certified ethnobotanist and food systems educator who teaches wild edible plant and mushroom classes at New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and other organizations. is the author of seven books, including The Forager’s Feast; Northeast Foraging: 120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries; Pickling Everything: Foolproof Recipes for Sour, Sweet, Spicy, Savory, Crunchy, Tangy Treats; and The Skillful Forager: Essential Techniques for Responsible Foraging and Making the Most of Your Wild Edibles. Connect with Leda at www.LedaMeredith.com and Leda Meredith on YouTube, and read all her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts.

Essential Sauces of Summer: Homemade KC-Style BBQ Sauce

homemade bbq sauce

Even though the barbecues and picnics this summer are likely looking a little different from those in the past, I do hope you get to do some outdoor cooking, enjoying the beautiful weather and celebrating summer with delicious food. Unfortunately, many of our favorite cookout foods are often super processed and loaded with unwanted ingredients, which is where they DIY spirit can really save your next barbecue. Making foods from scratch is such a great way not only to ensure your foods are made with the best, most natural ingredients, but they also tend to be even more delicious than their store-bought counterparts. A perfect example of this is in sauces, which have the potential to elevate any item at your next cookout when you go the homemade route. For me, one homemade sauce that is essential for summer is my Kansas City-Style BBQ Sauce.

As a Kansas City native, I take barbecue and its many sauces seriously. While there are many styles of BBQ and sauce out there, this one is tomato- and molasses-based as is part of the Kansas City style. It also has a kick of smoke and heat to balance out the acidity and sweetness. This recipe is inspired by the sauce we made at a restaurant I worked at in college, called Main Squeeze, where brewed coffee was added to our BBQ sauce, imparting a nice bitter quality for another layer of flavor. In my recipe, I use natural sweeteners instead of processed sugars: Molasses and maple syrup are used here, which are both unrefined and rich in minerals.

This also adds a Wisconsin twist, an homage to my current home, as both sorghum molasses and maple syrup are local foods to our region of the country. The lack of high fructose corn syrup or preservatives typically found in store-bought BBQ sauces makes this healthier and allows me to use local ingredients in the recipe as well.

This goes great slathered on smoked meats such as ribs or brisket, but is also tasty on grilled chops, brats, or burgers, or even tossed with slower cooker pulled pork or chicken. However, it also can be used on grilled veggies and, mixed 50/50 with some mayo, makes a pretty stellar dip for oven fries. If you have some delicious local meat (or veggies) to cook up this summer, be sure to give it the proper treatment with some homemade BBQ sauce. Party on.

KC-Style BBQ Sauce

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, avocado oil, or cooking fat of choice
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sorghum molasses (can use blackstrap if sorghum is unavailable)
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. soy sauce (can sub coconut aminos for soy-free version)
  • 1/3 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder or smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

1. In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until they begin to sweat.

2. Add the garlic and cook 3 to 5 more minutes until becoming fragrant.

3. Add all remaining ingredients, whisking well to combine. Let the mixture come just to a boil, stirring often, and reduce the heat to low.

4. Let simmer for 30-45 minutes until thickened slightly. Check on the sauce, stirring regularly to prevent sticking during the simmering period.

5. Let cool slightly, then puree until smooth; I use an immersion blender straight into the cooking pot, but you could transfer the sauce, working in batches, to a blender for pureeing instead.

6. Once blended, transfer to a storage container and move to the refrigerator. This is even better a few days after making it, if you can wait that long to dig in! Stored in the fridge, this will keep for about 1 month, or can be frozen for longer-term storage.

See also: Essential Sauces for Summer: Herbaceous Chimichurri

Laura Poe is a Registered Dietitian and traditional foods instructor. She homesteads in Wisconsin where she regular contributes to Edible Madison. Connect with Laura at Laura Poe, RD, for private practice appointments (distance consults available), upcoming classes, newsletter subscriptions, and more. Her nutrient-dense recipes can be found on Laura’s blog, Brine & Broth, and you can see what she has been cooking and creating on her Instagram @brineandbroth. Read all of Laura’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts.

Canning Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe

Fire Roasted Tomatoes

Tomato season is finally upon us.  You have no idea how giddy this makes me.  Yesterday I pulled off two Sungold cherries, two Jaune Flamme saladettes and who knows what the other red variety was.  I've lost track.  And my peppers are not far behind.  It's time to start thinking about salsa!  

It's easy to create a signature garden salsa of your own. While you can use raw vegetables, I find fire roasting is the key to incredibly flavorful canned salsa.  There's nothing like opening up a jar of fire roasted tomato salsa on a Polar Votex night in January to make you feel all warm and cozy.

My tried and true canned salsa recipe works for me every year.  It uses weight instead of volume for measurements.  The only rule is that you DO NOT CHANGE THE RATIO of tomatoes, peppers, onions/garlic and vinegar. This recipe has strict proportions to keep it safe for canning, as everything but the tomatoes are low acid vegetables which can harbor botulism. See the USDA's recommended ratios for canning salsa for even more information.  As long as you keep the total weight for each category of vegetables the same, and use all the 5% vinegar (no substitutes), you can vary the varieties of each produce, like more hot peppers for sweet, or cherry tomatoes for slicers.  

If you want a thick salsa, use plum or paste tomatoes. If you like a thinner salsa, use heirlooms slicers or beefsteaks.  You can also switch out tomatillos for tomatoes for a salsa verde.  Feel free to change up the types and colors of peppers, too, by mixing the sweet and the hot to suit your taste. For instance poblanos have great deep flavor, especially when roasted. Sweet red and orange peppers mixed with a few habaneros make a tasty tropical salsa. 

Fire Roasted Peppers

Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe

Yields 6 or 7 pints

Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs paste tomatoes, preferably from your garden or local farmers market
  • 2 lb mix hot & sweet peppers (adjust ratio to suit your taste)
  • 1 lb mixed white onions with 1 head garlic (not to exceed 1 lb total)
  • 1 cup apple cider or white vinegar (must be 5 percent acidity)
  • 1 tbsp salt

Directions:

  1. For extra fire roasted flavor, fire up your charcoal grill. Place the whole tomatoes, peppers, skin-on onions and the whole head of garlic on the bbq until their skins are blistered and burnt.  Flip the vegetables and grill them on the other side.
  2. Remove from the bbq to rest until cool.  Core the tomatoes, if necessary, and remove the stems from the peppers.  Remove the peels from the onion and garlic.  Weigh the remaining ingredients, and add more raw veggies to equal the total amount required for each vegetable.  It's important to keep your ratios the same for safe acid levels.
  3. In a food processor, blend all the roasted vegetables to desired consistency of chunkiness.  Add the puree, vinegar and salt to a pot and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer the salsa for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. While the salsa is simmering, prepare a hot water bath.  Heat pint jars and lids.  Ladle hot salsa into clean, hot pint jars, leaving 1/2” headspace.  Wipe rims and add the lids.  Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes at a full rolling boil.

Jars of Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa


Tammy Kimbler grows, forages, cans, dries, pickles, ferments, brews, ages, cooks and eats from her Minneapolis, Minn., backyard. At One Tomato, Two Tomato, she aims to show how easy, accessible, healthful and delicious gaining control of your personal food system can be. Connect with Tammy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Fenugreek Ginger Pickles

 

In southern Vermont cucumber season is coming to the end. The leaves are beginning to mildew and there are those pesky cukes that hid behind giant leaves and were not plucked early enough are now giant and filled with seeds. They are unpalatable raw - I’ve been using those to make cucumber water as a refreshing beverage in the end of summer heat. Others are just becoming ready now, but they must be caught quickly as everything is growing, growing, growing. Miss just one day of picking and they have gone too far.

The truth is I do not love cucumber pickles, especially the traditional kinds. I make them for others - my daughter and partner love them, as do extended family and neighbors. My daughter practically lives on pickles in the summer. She is not particular to the flavor - although she loves sweet icicle chips. I make so many pickles each summer mostly because I always have too many cucumbers! What I do like about pickles is how they keep throughout the fall as refrigerated pickles and if properly canned until next time cucumbers are on the vine.

I have come up with a few kinds that are different than the traditional mustard, dill, garlic, spiced, and sweet. A new type I am trying this year is: Fenugreek Ginger pickles.

Fenugreek is an herb that, in arid places, grows like a weed mixed in with tough grasses. It is from the ancient lands of the Middle East. I like to imagine the early farmers grazing their cattle on it and getting sweet and spicy milk from the herd. Many new moms know fenugreek as an herb that can increase breastmilk production, so it can often be found baked into lactation cookies and even ground up as an added spice in seedy breads. Fenugreek seeds are a rich yellow color with a strong fragrance. The seeds are fairly large three pronged triangles.

And what about my pickles? I’m am getting the first tastes now. They have turned out to be a delicious experiment. The fenugreek gives them a sweet almost maple like quality — without any sugar! Ginger gives them a tangy punch with the salty brine. I have really enjoyed them and their non-traditional flavor.

Fenugreek Refrigerator Pickles Recipe

Ingredients

• salt (2 tsp for a pint, 4 tsp for a quart)
• pepper (1/2 tsp for a pint, 1 tbsp for a quart)
• fenugreek (2 tsp for a pint, 2 tbsp for a quart - I like to use whole seeds because they become pickled as well, but ground fenugreek can work for just the flavor.)
• fresh grated ginger (2 tsp for a pint, 2 bsp for a quart)

Directions

1. Pack a clean canning jar tightly with sliced cucumbers.

2. Fill jar one third with vinegar

3. Fill the rest of the way with water leaving ½ inch to 1 inch of headroom

Allow the cucumbers to absorb flavors for 4 days (pint) to 7 days (quart) in the refrigerator. Shake the jar every day to move the flavors around. These will keep safely for up to 3 weeks and get spicier the longer they are left in the brine.

You can read all of Katie’s posts here.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page. 

Giardiniera Pickles Recipe

Giardiniera Garden Vegetables
Giardiniera Pickles

Giardiniera comes from the word giardino, or garden in Italian, and is literally a garden pickle. The vegetable combination is very flexible, but the flavor profile usually includes at least hot and sweet peppers. This pickle is meant to be made from what you have on hand. I love giardiniera chopped up on sandwiches, tossed in pasta salads and eaten along side a nice grilled steak.

Gather up what you have left in the garden, from your neighbors or from your local farmers market, and pickle the best of it before it’s all gone.

Garden Vegetables for Giardiniera

Mixed Vegetable Giardiniera Pickle Recipe

Ingredients:

• 3 quarts mixed chopped vegetables like zucchini, yellow squash, kohlrabi, cauliflower, sweet peppers, hot peppers, carrots, celery, onions, yellow beets, radishes, green tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.
• 1/2 cup salt
• 4 cloves garlic quartered
• 4 hot chiles, halved
• 1 bunch fresh oregano
• 2 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp celery seeds
• 2 tsp crushed black peppercorns
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 2 1/2 cups white wine vinegar

Instructions: 

1. Cut vegetables into chunks, slices or planks, just so that everything is similarly sized.  Leave green cherry tomatoes, small onions/beets/radishes whole.  

2. In a large bowl combine all the vegetables and 1/2 cup salt.  Cover with water. Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to sit on the countertop overnight.  

3. The next day, drain the vegetables and rinse thoroughly with cold water. 

4. Prepare your water bath canner.  Place 4-5 pint jars in the water bath to warm. 

5. Bring the vinegar and water to a simmer in a separate pot.  Into the hot jars, divide the garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, celery seed and peppercorns. 

6. Pack the vegetables into the jars, then pour over the vinegar solution. 

7. Add the lids and process the pints for 10 minutes.

8. To serve, dress the pickles with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, course salt and freshly ground pepper.

Yield 4-5 pints

Giardiniera Pickles

Tammy Kimbler is the blogger of One tomato, two tomato. A cultivator at heart, Tammy’s passions lie with food, preservation, gardening and connecting to her local community through blogging and urban agriculture. She eats well and love to feed others as often as possible. She currently resides with her family in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.







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