Pickles!

 
 
I’m not kidding when I tell you I just made the BEST pickles I have EVER tasted.

 
 
I’m still a little in shock, and wanted to share.

With the bounty that is a CSA, it’s useful to get crafty about how to make the most of the food.  Last year, I discovered the pickling miracle that is Dan Koshansky’s recipe (all thanks to Margaret  Roach–thanks Margaret!).

A few notes of import:
*I used zucchini.  We’ve got lots of it and while my favorite recipe for zucchini is from Heidi Swanson’s Special Zucchini Bread, I was on the prowl for another.  Last year we made cucumber pickles according to Dan’s recipe above and quickly became big fans.  “Surely it will work with zucchini”, I thought.  I had no idea just how amazing these little buggers would turn out!

*I started these pickles on Wednesday, let them sit on the counter until Saturday morning when I packed the tops of the jars with elephant garlic and fennel whisps, put them in the fridge and tried them about 7 hours later.  Between Marshall and I, we polished off a pint ‘o pickles in about 30 seconds.  (FYI, a little fuzz was forming at the surface of the pickles from sitting out, as an avid fermenter this bothers me not!  I just shoved the spears under the liquid, packed with more herbs, put the top on, and placed the jars in the fridge.)

*I didn’t have pickling spice.  Knowing it’s home-makeable, I enlisted the help of our friend Google and found I didn’t have the exact ingredients to follow any one recipe.  So, I used what I had and what seemed like would be tasty which was (amounts are entirely up to you):  peppercorn, juniper berries, allspice berries, ground ginger, turmeric, cumin, lemongrass, caraway seeds, bay leaves, cloves and crushed red pepper.  This pickling spice will go down in my personal cookbook history.  I want to pickle everything.

Now I’ve got pickled fennel on the brain, as well as fennel ice cream . . . more to come!

One response to “Pickles!

  1. As a follow up, I did make fennel ice cream! All the recipes I found called for fennel seeds, except one suggestion from Lippy on Chowhound. Buried in a thread on what to do with fresh fennel is her gem of a recipe:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/415946

    I modified and kept the pulp in the mix; and as I didn’t have Pernod, I used Brennivin brought back from a trip to Iceland a few years ago (a schnapps made from potatoes and caraway seeds and Iceland’s signature liquor). It turned out magnificently!

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