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Attack of the Summer Zucchini (Pickles)

IMG_04071

Ah, zucchini, that delightful, fresh flavor of summer!  We love it!  And yet, as the season peaks, sometimes we gardeners find ourselves with Giant Killer Zucchinis coming out of our… gardens … faster than we can devour them.  We’ve made zucchini bread, zucchini hash, zucchini relish, and zucchini pesto.  We’ve had it steamed, boiled, fried, grilled, and friccaseed.  We’ve given baskets of zucchini to friends, co-workers, our kids’ teachers, and the mail carrier.  And now, just when we’re nearly reduced to leaving them on neighbors’ front porches in the dead of night, here come Eleven’s chefs to save the day with this delicious, simple new way of preparing and enjoying summer’s zucchini bounty:  High South Zucchini Pickles!

IMG_04071High South Zucchini Pickles

Yield: 1 pint Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds medium zucchini 4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved 3/4 c white vinegar 1/4 c  granulated sugar 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste (we like up to 1/2 teaspoon) 6 black peppercorns 1/2 tsp mustard seeds 1 cinnamon stick 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1 head dill (or a few sprigs)

Technique:

  • Wash and dry a pint-sized glass jar with airtight lid.
  • Cut the zucchini into 1/4-inch slices. Place in jar along with the cloves of garlic.
  • Add the vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cinnamon stick, and salt to a small saucepan. Set it over medium heat and bring just to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and carefully pour over zucchinis and garlic in the jar. Top with dill, immersing it as much as possible. Place the lid on the jar and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Open and serve.
  • These gems will keep 7-10 days in the fridge, but trust me, they will NOT last that long.

 

IMG_0441Blackberry-Thyme Smash

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: 1/2 lemon, sliced 4 plump fresh blackberries thyme sprig 2 oz bourbon 1 oz thyme simple syrup (Mix thyme sprig with equal parts water and sugar and heat only until sugar dissolves. Cool before using.) Garnish: fresh thyme sprig

Technique: Muddle lemon slices, blackberries, and thyme in a cocktail shaker. Add bourbon and thyme simple syrup and fill shaker with ice. Shake at least 10 times and strain into a short glass filled with ice. Garnish with fresh sprig of thyme.

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