Valley Bounty: August 30, 2014: Cucumbers
The end is near for cucumbers, so enjoy those crunchy picklers and slicers while you can! This time of year I love a cucumber jalapeno salad with chopped cilantro, drizzled with rice vinegar. This cool but spicy mix adds pop to the palate and takes no time to prepare! Cucumbers are a great medium for nearly any dip: substitute for chips and pair with a yogurt mint sauce or hummus next time — you’ll appreciate the cool crunch! Find recipes and preservation tips (for pickles and more!) on the Valley Bounty page at www.buylocalfood.org.
By Abby Getman of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture
Abby’s Cucumber Jalapeno Salad
2 cucumbers (peeled, if desired), sliced into ¼ inch slices on the round
1 green jalapeno (core and scrape out the seeds—use gloves!), cut in thin, nearly transparent slices
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2-3 Tbsp rice vinegar
Salt to taste
Toss ingredients lightly in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 mins before serving to let the flavors meld.
Margaret Christie’s Preservation Corner
There are lots of ways to make pickles, and of course you can pickle lots of things, not just cucumbers. Here are a few ideas to get you started with different approaches.
1.Refrigerator vinegar pickles. These are the easiest of all. Most recipes suggest you heat up the brine and pour it over the vegetables, but once you have a jar in the fridge, you can just keep sticking new vegetables into it as fast as you eat them out of it. In the write-up for the recipe above, Marisa McLellan of the blog Food in Jars talks about how to choose whether or not to can your pickles. She’s also got an Asian-inspired variety. If you want to get fancy, try this version from Smitten Kitchen with beautiful julienned veggies.
2.Canned vinegar pickles. This recipe from Alice Waters, via Berkshire-based cookbook author Alana Chernila, is not processed, so it’s also quite easy, although the jars must be sterilized.
3.Lacto-fermented pickes from Sandor Ellix Katz, author of Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation.