Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vegetable Salad in the middle of winter!

I was lucky enough to be introduced to this tasty recipe from my friends Nick and Dee. We spent a great night out eating Korean food the other night and after copious drinks back at their house we were getting ready to head home and Dee insisted we take a quart of this delicious veggie salad home with us!

I thought it looked good but never thought it would be this delicious!!! The next day I combined it with some chopped feta and yummy crackers. It was out of this world so you can imagine how happy I was that 2 days later in my email Nick attached the NY Times article and recipe!!!!  Thanks Nick for turning me on to what should be a staple in my library of recipes!

It is super easy to do - just takes a long time to brine and cure.  I started this morning with chopping the veggies and covering them with salt and cold water- left it to brine on the counter covered most of the day- recipe says 8 -12 hours.

You need to mix the marinade together - I did it in one quart jar then poured half of it into the other jar - then added the veggies. The marinade ingredients are easily found and some you might even have in your cupboard.

The final product - it needs to cure for at least 3 days in the frig!!  It's actually called Giardiniera (pronounced jar-deen-YAIR-uh and Italian for “from the garden”) Can be used to enhance tuna salad or as a great side dish. I just love it - hope you do to !!! Thanks Dee and Nick for a great recipe.


Time: 1 hour, plus 3 days’ pickling

4 serrano chiles, thinly sliced, with seeds removed
2 red sweet peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 or 2 celery ribs, sliced or julienned
1 or 2 carrots, sliced or julienned
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/2 cup salt
2 cloves garlic, slivered
3 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
1/2 cup grapeseed or safflower oil.

1. In a large bowl, using your hands, mix the vegetables and salt until well combined. Cover the vegetables with water. Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to sit, unrefrigerated, for 8 to 12 hours.
2. Drain the vegetables and rinse thoroughly. Sterilize 2 quart-size glass jars, with lids, in the dishwasher or by submerging them in boiling water for 10 minutes.
3. In one sterilized jar, combine the garlic and all the herbs and spices; add the vinegar and oil and shake well to emulsify the dressing. Pour half the dressing into the other jar.
4. Pack the vegetables into the jars. If vegetables are not completely coated, make and add more dressing. Screw lids onto jars and refrigerate. Allow the mixture to mellow for a couple of days before serving.
Yield: About 2 quarts.        

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Crazy Mixed up Feta for your Super Bowl Party!

I found this on Pinterest! Looked so good so have just made it for today's Super Bowl party- I am in Seattle so we are having a fun time with the 2 grandsons- we are of course all rooting for a Patriots win! This feta will be one of table full of dips wings and chips - Munch away!!!

Creamy Feta Dip with Jalapenos 
makes about 2 cups [a little goes a long way!]
2 bricks of feta cheese, 8 ounces each
3 whole jalapeno peppers
1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon
1 bulb garlic
the juice of half a lemon
the zest of half a lemon
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the top off the garlic bulb and drizzle it with a teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap it in foil and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until garlic is golden in color. At the same time, brush the jalapenos with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Either grill or roast them – I stuck them in the oven with garlic and just watched until they were charred. Remove both from oven and let cool. Once jalapenos are cooled, remove skins, cut in half and discard the seeds. Chop into small pieces. Don’t touch your eyes!
In a large bowl, crumble the feta bricks.  Add chopped jalapenos, the zest of half a lemon, and the juice of half a lemon. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulb directly into the feta. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and mash with a fork. You want the feta to be a bit “wet” – I can best describe it as a cross between a spread and a dip. There is no right or wrong – make it however you’d like. Taste the feta and season with salt and pepper. Serve with pita chips, warm pita or naan, or spread it on sandwiches. Store it in the fridge for up to one week – I find that I like it best at room temperature, so allow it to sit out for about 30 minutes before serving. We also think it would be great with some kalamata olives.