Bread & Butter Pickles – 22/08/2013

A “fool-proof, easy and delicious” recipe for this pickle classic from new partner Lynda Ryan, who claims “they are so yummy, ours have never been around that long! ”

  • 1 pound cucumbers, cut into coins
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup xylitol or raw honey (Lynda notes that she used xylitol – « a sweetener that’s good for you! – from the health food store »)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp (or more) turmeric
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • a pinch of celery seed
  • 1 bay leaf
      1. Combine the cucumbers, onion and salt in a large container of VERY ICY ice water (Lynda puts a large glass container of water into the freezer for about 15-20 minutes); then let them sit in this water in the fridge for about 2 hours (this will make the pickles very crunchy)
      2. Meanwhile, bring the vinegar, xylitol or honey, and the seasonings to a boil in a large pot.
      3. Drain the cucumbers and onions and add them to the pot. Bring back to a boil – and immediately remove from heat and transfer the entire mixture to a glass jar (about a litre size).
      4. Once it cools to room temperature, put a lid on the jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a month

Green Gazpacho – 20/07/2013

With cucumber plants going like gangbusters and tomato plants about to yield their summer bounty, Nasser and I were thinking we should be looking for some good gazpacho recipes. Then it hit me: Cynthia Joy, a Westmount partner, sent us a “green” gazpacho recipe towards the end of the summer last year (2012) that we never got around to posting. Here it is (better late than never, they say). She says it is a “tried and true recipe” that she heartily recommends. More green and red gazpacho recipes should follow shortly. Bon appétit.

Serves 6

Croutons

    • 2 thick slices sourdough bread
    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • Salt

Gazpacho

    • 2 celery stalks (including the leaves)
    • 2 small green bell peppers, seeded
    • 6 mini cucumbers (1 ¼ lbs), peeled
    • 3 slices stale white bread, crusts removed
    • 1 fresh green chile (or less if you don’t want it too hot)
    • 4 garlic cloves
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 ½ cups walnuts, lightly toasted
    • 6 cups baby spinach
    • 1 cup basil leaves
    • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
    • 4 tbsp sherry vinegar
    • 1 cup olive oil
    • 3 tbsp Greek yogurt
    • About 2 cups water
    • 9 oz ice cubes
    • 2 tsp salt
    • White pepper to taste
  1. To make the croutons: preheat oven to 375°F.  Cut the bread into ¾-inch cubes and toss them with the oil and a bit of salt. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for about  10 minutes, or until the croutons turn golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  2. To make the gazpacho: Roughly chop the celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, bread, chile and garlic. Place in a blender and add the sugar, walnuts, spinach, basil, parsley, vinegar, oil, yogurt, most of the water, half the ice cubes, the salt and some white pepper. Blend until smooth. Add more water, if needed, to get your preferred consistency. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning.
  3. Lastly, add the remaining ice and pulse once or twice, just to crush it a little. Serve at once, with the croutons.