Homemade Pickles

Pickles, you either love them or hate them. It’s one of those food items that there doesn’t seem to be an in between about. I am on the “love them” side of the fence so when my cucumber plant started producing more cucumbers that I could possibly eat or give away I decided to turn them into one of my favorite snacks.

To begin, I sliced two cucumbers into spears. I first sliced each of the cucumbers in half and then sliced those halves into halves or thirds depending on the size of the cucumbers. Next, I placed the cucumbers into a 32oz. wide mouth jar. I topped the cucumbers with chopped dill and smashed garlic cloves and tucked a bay leaf on the inside of the jar.

In a liquid measuring cup I combined water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper and stirred everything together until the salt dissolved. I sampled the mixture to ensure that it had the right about of sweetness and spiciness.

I then poured the mixture into the jar with the cucumbers.

And then sealed it and refrigerated it for at least 24 hours before trying one of the pickles.

Now, my pickles were more on the spicy side than sweet side, but delicious nonetheless. If you would prefer a sweeter pickle, like a bread & butter one, increase your sugar amount, if you just want a delicious pickle without the sweet or spicy aspect I would omit the red pepper flakes. One more thing to note, make sure you are starting with cucumbers that have a nice crunch to them. They will hold up much better, and still have that crunch, after sitting in the water/vinegar mixture. You could also try this recipe with other goodies from your garden… Carrots, sting beans, or even asparagus.

Happy pickling!

Homemade Pickles

Ingredients:

2 medium-to-large cucumbers

1 cup water, at room temperature or cooler

1 cup rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

3 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1 bay leaf

Directions:

Slice the cucumbers into spears. Slice the cucumber in half. Then slice each half into quarters. If your cucumbers are on the thinner side then only slice the halves into halves as well. Use your best judgment. Alternatively, you could also slice the cucumbers into rounds

Place the cucumbers inside of the jar you will be using. Make sure the jar is tall enough to leave about 1 inch of space between the cucumbers and the top of the jar. This recipe is ideal for a 32oz. jar.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, sea salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Give everything a few good stirs until the salt has fully dissolved.

Top the cucumbers with the dill and garlic and place the bay leaf on the inside of the jar. Pour the water mixture into the jar until the cucumbers are fully submerged. Seal the jar and refrigerate at least 24 hours before enjoying.

Recipe modified from Cookie and Kate

Baked Zucchini Fries

If you have been following along, you know that I decided to plant a garden this year. I posted about it a few weeks when I shared a recipe for Walnut Pesto.  I mentioned in that post that I was hoping to make zucchini fried with the zucchini I was growing. Well, a day or so after picking my first decent sized zucchini another one was ready for picking. So, it seemed like the perfect time to make zucchini fries.

Initially I was planning on frying them. And while I have nothing against fried food, I just don’t like the clean-up involved after frying things indoors. The oil always splatters, and you must wait until the oil cools down before you can wash your pot. I am one of those people who likes to clean as they go while they are in the kitchen. So, I randomly came across a baked option and thankfully I had all the ingredients on hand. And the recipe was super simple, I had them in the oven in less than 10 minutes. And best of all, they didn’t get soggy like fried zucchini fries get and they didn’t need a dipping sauce since they were seasoned perfectly!

Baked Zucchini Fries

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchinis, sliced into fries/spears

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the breads crumbs, garlic powder, dried basil, salt and pepper and set aside.

In another large bowl combine the zucchini with eggs and mix them well to make sure the zucchini is evenly coated by the eggs.

Toss the zucchini in the bread crumb mixture a few at a time and then transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Continue doing this until all the zucchini has been coated with the bread crumb mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping the zucchini halfway through the baking.

Recipe from Tasty