Pickled Beets – Preserving the Winter Garden Bounty

2_Beets cleaned and ready for the potEvelyn, Jonathan Dye, and I have eaten many pickled beets made with this recipe. They’ve been added to cheese plates, paired with gravlax and other preserved fish, and also served simply with some dark rye bread, some fresh dill, and a dollop of crème fraiche (maybe a squeeze of fresh lemon too?). Evelyn’s winter garden has been a bountiful one. She has bushels of beets and needs a way to preserve them. Pickling is the perfect treatment for a homegrown beet. Here’s what I think Evelyn should do with her winter beet bounty! Continue reading “Pickled Beets – Preserving the Winter Garden Bounty”

Jonathan Duffy Davis’ Pickled Green Beans: Recipe and Method

Ingredients for pickled green beans

Most vegetables are takers but bean give back. Along with the rest of the legumes beans have formed an amazing symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Rhizobium). These bacteria that call the roots of legumes home are capable of taking the inert nitrogen gas (n2) that constitutes almost 80% of every breath that we take and turning it into a form of nitrogen that plants can use. Nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient to plant growth in the garden. The more nitrogen your soil contains, the better your garden will grow. Thus, beans nourish not only the gardener but the garden as well. Continue reading “Jonathan Duffy Davis’ Pickled Green Beans: Recipe and Method”

Stick To The Recipe! A Primer on Canning Pickled Vegetables, Jams & Jellies

Jars in Rack

Autumn is a perfect time to learn how to can in Southern California. The bounty of summer is quickly fading but there is still time to pick up the end of the stone-fruit and warm-season vegetable harvest and preserve the last of that summer sunshine. Learning how to can now will also enable you to make all of the fantastic pickles that are possible with winter vegetables.

Continue reading “Stick To The Recipe! A Primer on Canning Pickled Vegetables, Jams & Jellies”

Fig Jam with Balsamic Vinegar, Made from Backyard Figs: A Recipe & Gallery

Figs have, without a doubt, been an overriding force for OurLocaltopia this season.  These tender gems have somehow made their way onto our plates and into our kitchens with alarming regularity lately, and none of us…. none of us can ever seem to turn them down. Continue reading “Fig Jam with Balsamic Vinegar, Made from Backyard Figs: A Recipe & Gallery”

Seasonal Tomato Preserves!

Gather some backyard tomatoes...

Tomatoes are in abundance this time of year, and they never fail to come center-stage at our tables as the heat and light of summer presses on.  This week, we featured a recipe in our cooking class at the Fullerton Arboretum that highlighted some additional potential of the summer tomato: tomato preserves.  It’s not that the idea of a preserved tomato is new – far from it.  But the simplicity with which these particular summer tomatoes are preserved, and the great ingredients added to them that make them sparkle even greater, well, is just magic. Read on for the full recipe and browse the photos of the process in this post’s gallery… Continue reading “Seasonal Tomato Preserves!”