Sunday, June 28, 2009
It has been very hot here this past week. The broccoli shot its bolt as did the sugar snap peas, although I may get one more picking out of those. The mid-summer vegetables—tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers—are showing signs of what’s to come. I’ve picked the first zucchini, and we’ll have green beans later this week.
The potatoes are still holding strong but the cauliflower came on all at once and the spousal unit has already picked it, blanched it, bagged it, and tossed in the freezer. I intercepted two cupfuls for this pickle.
Hot Ginger Pickles
¼ c water
¼ c Japanese rice vinegar
¼ c sugar (or equivalent in your sweetener of choice)
Heaping teaspoon grated ginger (fresh or jarred, not the dried stuff)
1 small jalapeno, sliced
2 cups cauliflower florets, more or less
Blanch and shock the cauliflower and put it in a non-reactive covered container. Bring the water, sugar and vinegar to a boil. Stir in the ginger, a pinch of salt, and about three slices of jalapeno, more if you like it very hot (or leave it out entirely if you prefer). Pour the water/vinegar mixture over the cauliflower florets, cover, flip upside down and shake to distribute. Refrigerate until cold and remove the jalapeno before serving.
This is really more of a marinade than a pickle and is best eaten the same day. I was given the recipe years ago when I was stationed in California by a colleague’s wife. She called them Japanese pickles and they are kissin’ cousins to the fresh vegetable pickles my mother’s family used to serve on hot summer days down South (Texas and South Carolina), when ladies would pour boiling vinegar over sliced cucumbers and onions and then shave a hot pepper pod over the bowl.
(vintage crate label from Dover Publications).