Fridge Pickles

This year we have a huge crop of pickling cukes , and have been canning dill pickles for the winter as fast as we can.  Among the best pickles we made last year were our dilly beans, so we’ve been putting some of those away too, now that the string beans are coming in.  For those not set up with a canner, or lacking the time, these fridge pickles are a great way to make use of this season’s cucumbers and beans without quite as much fuss.  Here are two recipes to try:

Refrigerator Dill Pickles (adapted barely from Smitten Kitchen)

8 – 10 kirby or other pickling cukes

3 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 – 2 tbs. dill, chopped

2 cloves garlic

Slice the cucumbers as thin as you can, and put them in a clean glass jar with a lid along with the garlic.  Add the salt, vinegar, and dill. Close the jar and shake to mix the brine.  The liquid will not cover the pickles, but once the salt draws the water out of them there will be plenty.  Put in the fridge and leave for at least 8 hours, shaking a few times in between.  They’ll keep for 3 weeks or so in the brine.

Pickled Wax Beans (from Chez Panisse Vegetables)

1/2 lb yellow wax beans

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp coriander seed

1 small hot chili

1/8 tsp black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

2 cups white wine or apple cider vinegar

1 cup dry white wine

1 1/4 cups water

1 tbs kosher salt

2 tbs sugar

Trim the beans and put them in a clean, sterile jar or other nonreactive container.  Peel the garlic and cut in half.  Add the garlic to the beans along with the spices. Put the water, vinegar, wine, salt, and sugar into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then pour over the beans. Cover, cool, and then refrigerate.  They’ll be reader to eat in 48 hours, but will be even better after a week.

What to Do With All This Summer Squash

Summer squash is one of the most abundant crops of the summer season around here, and this year is no exception.  We have so many different varieties, and in such quantity, that we’ve gotten to come up with many different ways  to eat and enjoy it – luck us! Below are a few ideas of how to use you squash:

1. Zucchini Bread: This is an old favorite of ours, and freezes really well too. It’s an especially good use for those enormous zucchini’s that hide out until their almost too big to eat fresh. Here’s a good recipe at Food & Wine.

2. Fried Zucchini: A Bulgarian tradition that works as well with every variety of summer squash.  Slice zucchini or squash as finely as possible (do rounds if using a big one, or lengthwise slices if your squash is smaller), and coat with beaten egg, and then flour. Fry until crisp and brown, drain, and salt. Serve with a mixture of yogurt, garlic, salt, and dill.

3. Zucchini Fritters: A new discovery of ours, from the always reliable Smitten Kitchen blog. These freeze well too, and are great for any meal, including breakfast.

4. Pasta with Sauteed Summer Squash: Nothing could be simpler, or more delicious – this is a good use for smaller, more tender squash of any variety. Simply chop the squash, and saute in olive oil and butter (don’t be stingy with the butter here!), along with garlic, salt, and a mixture of your favorite herbs (we like to use oregano, thyme, and basil – parsley is good too), and toss with your favorite shape of pasta. You can add hot pepper flakes if you like a bit of spice.

Do you have a favorite way to eat summer squash? Send us an email and let us know!

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