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Pickling: Savoring Flavor Year-Round

With fall rapidly approaching, it's time to start thinking about preserving that last summer harvest.

Bill Peet, executive chef at Patroon, in New York City, shared some great recipes using pickled produce.

Quick Pickling
• An easy way to add unexpected flavor & complexity to a dish
• Unique garnishes that are packed with flavor
• A quick way to brighten up a dish, a surprise addition

5 Easy Steps
• Make simple syrup with vinegar (see recipe below)
• Cut the vegetables in a uniform shape (using a tool called a mandoline)
• Salt the cut vegetable for 30 minutes
• Rinse and pat dry the vegetables between two paper towels
• Marinate with the vinegar syrup

Peet explained this is an easy method to use with many vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers, onions, celery, zucchini, bell peppers, and ginger root, among others.

By salting the vegetables, Peet said, it adds a little saltiness, makes it limp and yet it's still crunchy. The vegetable is still raw, that is the reason it is still crunchy and the salt draws out the moisture, making it limp.

The sugar and vinegar syrup adds complexity, he said, adding that the recipe is a combination of salty, sweet, tart and crunchy.


Heirloom Tomato Salad

Serves 4

3 medium ripe Heirloom Tomatoes (or ripe Beef Steak Tomatoes), sliced in ¼ inch slices
1/4 cup Micro Arugula Salad
1/4 cup Pickled Red Onions, drained
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt to taste

Distribute the slices of the tomato out evenly on 4 plates. Season the tomato slices with a sprinkling of sea salt. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the tomato slices. Sprinkle the drained pickled red onion evenly over the tomato slices. Toss the Micro Arugula with a drizzle of the extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of the sea salt, distribute over each tomato plate. Serve immediately.

Smoked Salmon with Lemon Crème Fraiche & Pickled Cucumbers

Serves 4

8 slices Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon, 2 on each plate
1 cup Pickled Cucumbers, drained
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 cup Crème Fraiche
Zest of 1 Lemon
Sea Salt to taste
1 tablespoon Chopped Chives
Slices of Toasted French bread

Mix the pickled cucumbers with the chopped chives, distribute between the 4 plates, making a small pile in the center of the plate atop the smoked salmon.

Combine the whipping cream and the crème fraiche, whip until they form soft peaks, sprinkle with a little salt and mix in the lemon zest. Spoon a small dollop of the cream onto the plate. Serve immediately with the toasted French bread.

Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with Quinoa Salad, Sweet & Sour Julienne of Vegetables

Serves 4

16 Jumbo Shrimp, shelled & cleaned
1 cup Quinoa
1 cup Water
4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 cup Sweet & Sour Julienne of Vegetables, drained

In a saucepot over medium heat, combine the quinoa & water -- bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook 6-7 minutes until all the liquid is evaporated. Spoon the quinoa into a large bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, combine the Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons oil and the vinegar in a small bowl, mix well. Pour this mixture over the cooled quinoa, season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped parsley, mix and set aside.

Toss the shrimp with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, season on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill over medium high heat until fully cooked. Divide the quinoa salad between 4 plates; make a mound in the center of each plate. Arrange the grilled shrimp around the quinoa and top with the sweet & sour julienne of vegetables. Serve immediately.

For a Sweet & Sour Julienne Recipe, go to Page 2.

Sweet & Sour Julienne of Vegetables

Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup Celery, julienned
1/2 cup Cucumber, peeled and julienned
1/2 cup Leeks, cleaned and julienned
1/2 cup Carrot, peeled and julienned
1/2 cup Zucchini, julienned
1/4 cup Red Pepper, julienned
14 cup Yellow Pepper, julienned
2 tablespoons Fresh ginger, peeled & julienned
1 cup Kosher Salt
1 recipe Sweet & Sour Syrup

Combine all the vegetables in a bowl, cover with the salt - mix thoroughly. Let stand 30 minutes.

Rinse in water, drain and pat dry with paper towels.

In a plastic or glass container, cover the julienne vegetables with the sweet & sour syrup, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This will keep refrigerated for one month.

Sweet & Sour Syrup

Makes 18 ounces

1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water
1/3 cup Sherry or Cider Vinegar

Combine the Sugar and Water in a small saucepot. Bring this mixture to a boil, remove from the heat. Add the vinegar, allow to cool. Place in a clean glass or plastic container with a lid, refrigerate. This mixture will keep indefinitely refrigerated.