04 September 2009

The Jewels of Summer!

Our farmers in the mid-west are having a harvest that is 2-3 weeks later than normal because of the unusual brief cool summer that we have had. This week has been the most delightful surprise with perfect temperatures and sun shine for nearly a week.

On Wednesday I found a beautiful array of colorful vegetables to make this Winter Pickle Salad. One grower had a head of Romanesco cauliflower which is neon green and shaped like little cones...so cute. I also found a miniature variety of carrot that was streaked with red , some tiny yellow patty pan squash, red, orange and yellow peppers, and green beans...the jars look like a sea of jewels!

The canning process is something that I have never tackled and found it to be much easier than expected as long as you have the proper tools assembled before hand. I purchased a canning kit at Target that included all the utensils needed and used my stock pot for processing. Things went so well with this first batch that I have decided to invest in a canner which can be purchased for around $25. I want to scoop up as much of summer as I can before our l-o-n-g winter sets in!

Winter Salad Pickle

2 c cauliflower florets
1c peeled pearl onions or onions cut into squares
1c thickly sliced celery
1c sliced carrots or small baby carrots cut in quarters
1c thick sliced zucchini or small patty pan
1c yellow or green beans
2 medium red, yellow or orange peppers
3c white wine vinegar or herb vinegar
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/3c water
2 tsp pickling(coarse/Kosher)
1/8 tsp paprika

Before you begin preparing vegetables place jars and lids on a rack in a large kettle or canner that will fit the jars comfortably and allow enough room to cover jars with 1 inch of water for processing . Fill with water, bring to a boil and turn off heat.

1. Combine cauliflower, onions, celery and carrots in a large bowl. Combine squash beans and peppers in a separate bowl.

2. Combine vinegar, sugar, water salt, and paprika in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a full boil over high heat. Add cauliflower, onions, celery, and carrot and return to a boil. Remove from heat and add squash, beans and peppers.

3. Remove vegetables from liquid with a slotted spoon and pack into jars. Pour liquid to within 1/2 inch of rim. Clean rim of jar with a clean cloth or paper towel. Lift lid from hot water and center on top of jar. Apply screw band until fingertip tight

4. Place jars on a rack in a large stockpot, kettle or canner that the jars were sterilized in and fill with additional water to cover by one inch.

5. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. turn off heat and remove lid. Allow jars to sit in kettle for 5 min. Carefully left jars out and place on a heat safe work surface. Do not touch seals or dry jars. Let cool for 12-24 hours. Check jar seals, sealed lids turn downwards.

This recipe was taken from:

Small Batch Preserving
Ellie Topp & Margaret Howard


jglitter said...

I did some pickling for the first time too - it is very easy! I used okra with some red hot peppers, dill, garlic, peppercorns, etc.. We waited a month and cracked open the first jar - yummy! Your jars are beautiful!!

Kathy Gillespie said...

On Friday I made Bread & Butter pickles and we already cracked a jar! they were fantastic! We love pickled okra and the addition of the hot peppers sounds great.