pickled Archive

Preserving the Harvest: Pickled Green Beans with Rosemary and Lemon

This summer, I’m giving myself a crash course in preserving the harvest. I’m grabbing up fresh produce whenever I can and am trying my best to preserve the spoils of summer. There is so much goodness to be had, and I want to do everything I can to make sure I can enjoy this summer produce throughout the rest of the year.

That being said, this past week I found myself with five pounds of fresh, local green beans. I happily devoured a bunch of the green beans, of course (steamed, pan fried with brown butter, tossed in this incredible potato salad), but I knew I wanted to save a good portion of them for mid-winter eating. Because, the sad reality is that green beans don’t grow all year round (at least, they don’t in Oregon). And since I’ve made a commitment to do my best to eat seasonally and locally, green beans aren’t something I tend to eat in the winter months. The good news is, however, that I can preserve some of the harvest so that I have a few green beans to snack on all year long.

I decided to go about preserving the green beans in two different ways.

First, I froze a bunch of them. This takes little to no time, and is a fantastic way to preserve this particular veggie. Essentially, all you have to do is quickly blanch the green beans in boiling water, rinse them with cold water, pat dry, and separate them into various ziplock baggies for freezing (For a full post & instructions on freezing green beans, see this tutorial). Frozen green beans are great additions soups, stews, stir fry, curries and more. I’m sure that frozen green beans could even be used for the infamous Thanksgiving side dish, green bean casserole. :)

Secondly, I made a big batch of pickled green beans. I came across this lovely recipe for pickled green beans with lemon and rosemary. The recipe was simple, the flavors sounded perfect, and so I made (and canned) a big batch of them. I have to wait 3 weeks until I open the pickled green beans, so I can’t actually tell you how they taste yet…but I will say that they look fantastic! And I can’t imagine that the combination of green beans, lemon, garlic, and rosemary would be bad. In fact, I’m quite positive that these green beans will be nothing short of amazing.

I am pleased to say that after my preserving efforts, I have 4 pints of pickled green beans and 3 freezer bags full of green beans. Neither method took much time or effort, and now I have a stash of green beans to get me through the winter. Green beans are one of my favorite summer veggies, and I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that I’ll have some to carry me through the winter.

If you’re interested in preserving some of your summer bounty, please see this fantastic website, which has over 85 different recipes for canning and preserving all sorts of different fruits and vegetables. .

Pickled Green Beans with Rosemary and Lemon
(Adapted from Urban Spork)
Note: While I normally like to write my own recipes, I am still learning all the tricks of canning and pickling and so I stuck close to the original recipe.

4 pint sized jars with lids, sterilized

2 pounds green beans
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped (or 8 small cloves)
8 small strips of lemon peel
2 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups white wine vinegar (could use plain white vinegar as well)
3 Tablespoons pickling salt
2 Tablespoons sugar

Trim the ends of the green beans to fit inside the jars. Pack the green beans into the four jars and evenly divide garlic, lemon peels and rosemary among the jars.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot (canning or stock pot) of water to a boil.

In a medium pot, combine the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2-4 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Ladle the vinegar mixture into the jars, leaving a half inch of room at the top. Wipe the rims with a clean cloth, affix the lids and seals, and seal tightly. Process the jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Carefully remove with tongs and set aside to cool. Let sit in a cool, dark place for at least 3 weeks before opening.

Zucchini Roundup: Grilled, Pickled, & Pancaked.

There’s a saying that goes something like this: “If you plant zucchini, be sure you have a lot of friends.”

I’ve heard it said before, but it wasn’t until this year that I truly understood what these words meant. This year I planted not one, but two zucchini plants. We aren’t even at the height of zucchini season and I feel like I can barely keep up with the abundance of zucchini!. Every time I turn around, there are magically five (or more!) ripe zucchini that are just begging to be eaten. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I’m not tired of zucchini, yet. And thankfully, it is still early in the season I have friends who are willingly allowing me to pawn off some of my zukes on them. We’ll see how long that lasts…

Really, though, I am thrilled to be harvesting (and enjoying) my very first crop of zucchini. This year, I planted two heirloom varietals: Black zucchini and a lovely striped Cocozelle zucchini (pictured above). These squash are colorful, firm and flavorful and I’m having a great time coming up with new and exciting ways to prepare them! As much as I love a good zucchini bread, I knew I needed to branch out and find interesting recipes to highlight these tasty squash.

So, for this post I’m including 3 zucchini recipes that I’ve tried recently and loved! Each preparation is unique in its own way, and each recipe highlights the zucchini in a different way. In addition, at the end of the post I’ll include a few links for more fantastic zucchini recipes. Because, let’s face it: zucchini season is far from being over. If you’re like me, you’ll need more than 3 recipes to get you through the season…

Grilled Zucchini Bruschetta

I saw variations of the recipe online and just created my own version, using simple ingredients and fresh basil from the garden. The key is to quickly grill the zucchini over high heat, so that it gets good char marks but doesn’t get mushy or soggy. To me, this tastes like summer on a piece of bread. The flavors are simple, elegant, and summery.

3-4 small to medium sized zucchini, sliced in 1/4 or 1/2 inch rounds
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of olive oil (plus a little more for grilling)
3/4 cup (or a generous handful) of fresh basil, sliced thinly
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 baguette, sliced

Toss zucchini rounds with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and half of the minced garlic. Let the zucchini set in the mixture for 15-20 minutes, to fully absorb the flavors.

Grill zucchini: If using a gas grill, turn on the grill and set to ‘hot’. If using a charcoal grill, ensure coals are good and hot before you begin to grill. Place zucchini rounds on grill, and grill each side for 2-3 minutes or until you see grill marks. Be sure not to overcook the zucchini, as you want to retain some of the original texture. Remove zucchini to a plate and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut zucchini into small cubes (an 1/8 inch dice).

Toss zucchini cubes with basil, the rest of the garlic, lemon zest, and balsamic vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve immediately atop a piece of grilled baguette, crostini, or bread of your choice. This is best served warm, straight off the grill!

Korean Zucchini and Carrot Pancakes
(Adapted from Kitchen Wench)

I’m not sure how I originally stumbled upon this recipe, but when I saw it and it called out to me. I’m a sucker for Asian flavors and thought that these savory ‘pancakes’ would be the perfect way to use up some zucchini. Turns out, they were! Other than the 30 minutes you’ll need to allow the zucchini to drain (so you don’t have soggy pancakes), this comes together quickly and make for a great easy weeknight meal option.

2-3 small to medium sized zucchini
2 teaspoons salt
2 small carrots, grated
1 small yellow onion, grated
2 cups all purpose white flour
2 large eggs
2 – 3 cups water
Salt and pepper, to taste

Dipping sauce:
4 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Ponzu
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce

Slice zucchini into very thin julienned strips (could use a grater or mandoline, I just used a knife). Toss zucchini strips with 2 teaspoons of salt and allow to drain in a colander for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat together the eggs. Add in flour and whisk until incorporated. Add in the water gradually, whisking after the addition of each cup. Add water until the batter is the consistency of a slightly runny pancake batter (thin, but not too watery). Once the batter is mixed, add strained zucchini, grated carrots, and grated onion. Stir until combined.

Grease a medium sized non-stick frying pan with oil, and heat pan over medium heat. Once the pan is heated, pour a thin layer of the batter into the pan (about 1/2 cup, depending on the size of your pan). Working quickly, use a spatula to spread the vegetables in the batter into an even layer to ensure the pancake cooks evenly.

Once the bottom of the pancake is nicely browned, and the top is set, carefully flip it over and cook the other side until it is browned and the pancake is cooked all the way through. Once finished, remove from pan and allow to cool on a paper towel. Repeat process until all the batter is cooked. (I got 4 large-ish pancakes out this recipe). Serve warm with dipping sauce.

Bread & Butter Zucchini Pickles
(Adapted from The Oregonian)

It was the week after I made these tasty pickles that I saw an article on the Best Burgers in the USA from Saveur Magazine. In the article, they mentioned one burger in particular that stood out from the rest that was topped with house-made zucchini pickles. I’ve been thinking about burgers with zucchini pickles ever since (it sounds SO good) and I simply cannot wait to try it. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet, as I’ve been too busy snacking on these pickles straight out of the jar.

1 pound zucchini, trimmed and very thinly sliced (preferably using a mandoline)
1 medium yellow onion, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard (*I was all out of mustard powder, so I just used extra mustard seeds)
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Combine zucchini and onion in a large shallow bowl. Add salt; toss to combine. Add a few ice cubes and enough cold water to cover. Allow to sit until zucchini are slightly salty and softened (about 1 hour).

Drain the zucchini and onion mixture (discard any remaining ice cubes) and dry thoroughly between two towels or in a salad spinner (excess water will thin the flavor and spoil the pickle). Rinse and dry the bowl. Return the zucchini and onion to the dry bowl.

In a saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, mustard seeds and turmeric over medium heat; simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand until just warm to the touch.

Pack zucchini and onion into sterilized jars (I fit mine in 3 8oz jars). Pour the brine over the zucchini until it is covered, and allow 1/4 of room left at the top. Cap with sterilized lids. Refrigerate and allow to sit for at least 2 days before eating. The zucchini pickles should keep for up to 3 months in the fridge.


And now, as I’ve promised, here are a few wonderful zucchini recipes that I plan to make this summer. Enjoy!


Cornbread with Real Corn and Fresh Zucchini from Brooklyn Supper

Zucchini Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting from Tasty Kitchen

Zucchini Salsa Verde from Pearl and Pine

Zucchini Thyme Butter from Kitchen Confidence

Zucchini Crudo from Kiss My Spatula

Spicy Pickled Carrots

As I mentioned earlier, I recently traveled to San Francisco to visit an old friend. We did some sightseeing – and of course, we did some eating – and I think my favorite stop on the whole trip was at Tartine Bakery.

Everything we ordered at Tartine was spot on. The bread pudding was moist, but not soggy. The asparagus monsieur was the happiest of marriages: melty cheese, crunchy bread, and roasted asparagus. My Americano was a thing of perfection.

Its been a few weeks since my trip to SF, and I still catch myself daydreaming about the late afternoon “snack” we had a Tartine.

But you want to know something funny? The one thing that really stuck with me were the side of pickled carrots.

There was just something special about them. I think that part of the reason I loved them so much was the fact that they were unexpected. I didn’t know that when you ordered bready cheesy goodness that it came with a side of house made pickles. Let alone, spicy carrot pickles. They were crunchy and briny – with just the right amount of spice – and were the perfect compliment to an ooey gooey cheesy sandwich. I was in love. Which brings me to the subject of pickles…

If you don’t recall from last summer, I really love pickles. I love eating them, making them, blogging about them, etc. (See exhibits: A, B, C, D). I went a bit pickle crazy last summer, but I finally stopped posting pickle recipes after my sisters begged me to knock it off. Not every shares my obsession for pickles, I suppose.

But, the spicy pickled carrots at Tartine were amazing and they reminded me of how much I love all things pickled. So, then, when I got back home to Portland and saw a bunches of small carrots for sale at the farmer’s market – it seemed like fate. I snatched up bunches of the cute little carrots and took them home to make my very own spicy pickled carrots.

I have no idea how Tartine actually makes their carrot pickles, but I stumbled across Thomas Keller’s recipe for them and figured it would work nicely. I love that Keller adds a bit of curry powder into his pickle brine as it gives the brine a vibrant color, and adds an interesting flavor element. While Keller calls for a fresh jalapeno, I opted to use red pepper flakes as I like the color contrast and how the red pepper flakes stick to the carrot pickles to give an extra punch of spice.

Now, please, I beg of you: come to my house and help me eat some of these carrot pickles. I’ve been eating them like a crazy person and could use a little help. Please and thanks. :)

Spicy Pickled Carrots
(Adapted from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc At Home)

10-15 small carrots (or larger carrots, cut into carrot sticks)
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Wash and trim carrots. If using small whole carrots, scrub, but leave whole.

In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, water, sugar, curry poweder and bay leaf to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and discard bay leaf.

Meanwhile, pack as many carrots (or carrot sticks) as you can into a sterilized jar. Pour chili flakes and mustard seeds into the jar. Pour hot pickling liquid over the carrots, until the jar is full. Seal and refrigerate. Should keep in the fridge for 1 month (or more).

pickled okra.

I hope that none of you were starting to doubt my commitment to the ‘summer of pickling’.

The pickling is still going strong, my friends.

Last week, Nich and I spotted some fresh okra at the local farmers market, and we knew immediately that the okra was going to be our next pickling project. I can’t say that I’ve eaten a ton of pickled okra in my 29 years, but what I’ve had has always been delicious. And, if we are being honest…I generally only eat pickled okra when it happens to be garnishing my bloody mary.

This recipe isn’t too far off from the other pickled veggies I’ve been trying my hand at. Most pickle brines are a combination of vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and spices. The kinds and amounts of vinegars, spices, etc, vary upon preference and type of pickle. I’ve learned that you really just need to make a few jars, eat them, and decide what you’d change next time. I’ve decided, for example, that I don’t like much garlic in my dill pickles.

Anyway, this okra recipe seemed very open-ended and somewhat free form. The original recipe calls for hot peppers, but states that they can be fresh or dried. My left brain only slightly imploded at that notion. Dried & fresh peppers taste very different and so I knew that whichever form of pepper I chose would have a big impact on the flavor of the pickled okra. However, I happened to have dried habaneros on hand, so convenience won out. The recipe also called for two to three hot peppers. But, I didn’t want to go crazy on my first try at pickling okra, and we all know that habaneros can be intense. So, I only used one habanero for fear of an overly-spicy okra. But, alas, they don’t seem to be super spicy and next time, I’ll probably kick it up a notch and use two. Just saying.

Pickled Okra.
(Adapted from Bluejeangourmet.com)

enough okra pods to fill the quart jar tightly packed

2-3 garlic cloves

2 sprigs of fresh dill

2-3 hot peppers, fresh or dried (I used one dried habanero)

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/8 cup salt

Rinse the okra and peel the garlic cloves. Scrub the jar, ring and lid and rinse in very hot water from the tap. When the jar cools enough to touch, pack the jar with whole okra pods stood upright. Pack in the dill, garlic cloves and peppers as well. Make sure nothing in the jar protrudes up beyond the lower edge of the lip of the jar.

In a medium pot, add the water, vinegar and salt to make the brine. Bring to a boil.

Pour the boiling brine into the packed jars. Make sure nothing in the jar is left uncovered. Seal the jars tightly. Wait a week to open. Best served cold after refrigeration.

24 hour dill pickles.

I can’t stop pickling.
No, really, this is my new favorite hobby. Take a delicious vegetable and make it even more delicious by soaking it in vinegar and spices. Genius!

Since I’ve been having so much fun pickling veggies this summer, I knew I need to make the ultimate pickle classic: the dill pickle spear.

I stumbled upon this recipe and I knew that this was the dill pickle recipe I was going to try first. The photos were gorgeous and the recipe looked fresh and simple. So I set about finding some pickling cucumbers (Fred Meyer does not carry them, but Trader Joe’s does. And I was too impatient/craving pickles so I chose not to wait 5 days until the farmer’s market. Don’t judge.)

However, conquering the classic dill pickle spear made me slightly nervous. You see, my husband LOVES dill pickle spears. He even has theories on which brand of pickle spears are the best. He only likes the pickles that come from the refrigerated section and swears that they are crunchier than the sad pickles on the regular old grocery store shelf. He’s really into pickles.

I was worried that mine wouldn’t compare. And while it was my first attempt (and should be granted a small margin for error), I still wanted to make the perfect pickle. I wanted my pickle-enthusiast husband to really, truly love my dill pickle spears. And, guess what? He did love them. And I love them. And everyone who has tried them has loved them (my friend Priscilla requested a jar of these dill pickles for her birthday. They are that good). So, the next time I am at the farmer’s market, I am stocking up on pickling cucumbers. I will forewarn that once you open a jar of these, they disappear quickly. I’d recommend making two jars (or more) at a time. :)

24 Hour Dill Pickles (aka refrigerator pickles).
Adapted from Blondies Cakes

4 cups water
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tbl kosher salt
1 tsp white sugar
4-6 cloves of garlic, sliced thin (or if you’re lazy like me, you’ll just smash them with your knife and throw them in the jar)
5 or 6 pickling cucumber, cut into quarters
1/2 tsp allspices seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
6 sprigs fresh dill

Combine water, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then set aside and let cool.

Add the mustard seeds, peppercorns and whole allspice to a large mason jar. Pack in as many cucumber spears as will comfortably fit in the jar, and then pack in the dill sprigs and pieces of garlic.

Once the water & vinegar mixture has cooled (i.e. the brine), pour the liquid over the cucumbers in the jar. Seal with a clean lid and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating.