No. 476Recipe Card Posted on Leave a comment

Spiced Pickled Grapes

Spiced Pickled Grapes | Bijouxs Little Jewels

Let’s get pickled. Spiced Pickled Grapes are sweet, crisp and spiced–another simple Little Jewel from the Bijouxs Kitchen.

MAKING PICKLES

Pickles can be much more than cucumbers. I love to make pickled vegetables and fruits. They are easy to make, no canning required. The result is crisp, fresh and tangy sides which make great condiments for meats and salads. In the Spring it’s time for these wonderful Pickled Peaches with Brandy topping both both savory and sweet dishes. Spice up your cocktail hour with Quick & Spicy Pickled Vegetables. This Quick Thai Cucumber Pickle makes a simple side salad and uses just one cucumber.

My recipes are often driven by the need to not to waste food. We used to pickle to preserve food. My Grandmother pickled or preserved just about every vegetable and fruit she grew. After surviving the Great Depression she planned ahead. My favorite book with introduces the concept of “cooking with economy and grace” in An Everlasting Meal. This is a lovely book that I needed back in 2011 with a job loss looming, not so far off in today’s work climate. This pickle is a take on Tamar Alder’s pickle recipe.

Spiced Pickled Grapes | Bijouxs Little Jewels

 

SPICED PICKLED GRAPES

I had an extra bunch of sweet red grapes left from a charcuterie board I served recently. Feeling it’s now time for some fresh flavors as Winter begins to turn to Spring. Quick pickling is a method to capture the freshness of the ingredient and flavor with a sweet-tart vinegar based brine-don’t worry it is easy.

Spiced Pickled Grapes | Bijouxs Little Jewels

First, up make the brining liquid which consists of vinegar, brown sugar and some flavorful spices. Bring to a simmer then pour the hot brine over the grapes in a heat-proof bowl.
Allow to cool to room temperature. Place in glass jar and store in the refrigerator. They should keep tighly sealed for about a month. I always check by a quick smell to make sure food is still fresh.

Spiced Pickled Grapes |Bijouxs Little Jewels

 

Honestly, I have been snacking on the grapes right from the jar. Think also of using the grapes along with creamy goat cheese tossed in a simple salad of tender baby greens.
Preserving today is a little jewel.

 

 

No. 448Recipe Card Posted on Leave a comment

Risi e bisi (Rice with Peas)

Risi e bisi (Rice with Peas)

“The peas are green! Spring has begun! Long live Venice!” The April 25th Venice tradition is for the Doge (the Chief Magistrate) to taste a spoonful of the city’s most famous dish, Risi e bisi, in public to annunciate the start the Feast of Saint Mark. Risi e bisi (Rice with Peas) marks the start of spring – join Bijouxs in celebrating this little jewel of dish. Continue reading Risi e bisi (Rice with Peas)

No. 447Recipe Card Posted on Leave a comment

Victory Garden Salad

Victory Garden Salad

Yes, small victories count. Planting a small crop of lettuce provides salads for weeks, then sow more seeds and voila, lettuce appears. The simple Mesclun mixed variety is my favorite and produced this simply beautiful Victory Garden Salad a little jewel from the garden.

VICTORY GARDEN SALAD

Celebrate, a small victory in my garden. As always, starting with the freshest most healthy ingredients are keys to a great salad. Now, residing in a tiny cottage in the central coast, life has changed. No more sprawling garden, space in my yard is a premium. I have three small areas to grow my garden favorites. Since space is so limited I have narrowed it down to a few of my favorites. First on my list is growing lettuce for salads, from which I create a multitude of dishes, much more than just salads. For years I have been growing mesclun greens mix.

Victory Garden Salad

GROWING MESCLUN

Mesclun is a Provençal word that describes a mix of tender salad greens and many times includes herbs. The name comes from “mesclular” which is a mixture, which describes this mix of lettuce, also sold as spring mix. It is frequently served in restaurants and widely available in the supermarkets. However, growing your own lettuce is easy and very rewarding. When you feel like a salad just go out and clip some fresh greens, no waste and many of varieties are “cut and come again” meaning if you clip the leaves more new leaves appear. Almost anyone can have a small victory garden, you can grow this lettuce in a 12”inch pot, perfect for apartment dwellers. A volunteer nasturtium joined the party.

MESUCLUN SALAD

Spring mix greens are in every store now. They are very tender and must be handled with care. Also, they tend to have a short life in the refrigerator, another reason to grow your own greens. In looking for a salad recipe the first chef to really feature these greens was Alice Waters, from her I take my lead.

Gently wash greens and place in a salad spinner then roll them loosely in a clean kitchen towel and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. They are best used the same day, but can usually survive overnight, but not much longer.

My favorite dressing is French, made directly in a wooden salad bowl, then topped with the greens and brought to the table, ready to toss and serve. This dressing is my everyday dressing, my go-to in the kitchen. This real French dressing is simply made by place a small clove of garlic in a wooden salad bowl, with a pinch of salt and pepper and mashed into a paste using a wooden spoon. Dijon, red wine vinegar are added and mixed, then olive oil is whisked by hand until the dressing comes together. Voila, a perfect salad.

Victory Garden Salad

Grown your own Victory Garden Salad. Stay well.

 

No. 405Recipe Card Posted on Leave a comment

Lee Bailey’s Asparagus

#403 Lee Bailey’s Asparagus

Spring is here, a bounty of fruit & vegetables begins. In spite of my land-locked condition, a small local meat market began carrying fresh vegetables, there I found the most luscious asparagus. One of my favorite ways with asparagus is this recipe via Lee Bailey, a chef whose food and life truly embodied Beautiful Food By Design.

Continue reading Lee Bailey’s Asparagus