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Pickles: Pickled Fruits & Vegetables For A Pickle Holiday

Pickled Radishes
[1] It’s not just cucumbers: many fruits and veggies can be pickled, like these pickled radishes. Add them to salads, sandwiches, cheese plates, as garnishes and in a mixed pickle plate (photo © Simply Delicious Food).

Pickled Apples
[2] Pickled apples, a delicious condiment. You can pickle them in an hour—see below (photo © Best Apples).

Pickled Fennel
[3] If you like a fruit or vegetable, quick-pickle it. Here, pickled fennel becomes a delicacy. We serve it with smoked salmon, chicken and pork (photo © Quinciple).


[4] The most frequently-found Korean kimchi in the U.S. is baechu kimchi, pickled napa cabbage (photo © Portuguese Gravity | Unsplash).


[5] Japanese pickled cucumber (photo by Katharine Pollak | © The Nibble).

 

Snack A Pickle Time, September 13th, is one of the more unusually-named food holidays. Pickle vegetables are an ancient food. Earthen pits were lined with leaves and filled with the items to be pickled. The earth maintained a low, steady temperature and may have contributed some microbes to speed the fermentation process. Naturally-present lactobacilli would begin fermentation within a matter of days; enough lactic acid would eventually be produced to preserve the food, sometimes for years.

At some point, vinegar made from fermented grapes was “discovered,” and vinegar in pots created pickling.

Here’s more on the history of pickles.

Your next step: Pick some pickles to celebrate the day. The celebration continues on November 14th, National Pickle Day. July is National Pickle Month.
 
 
PICKLED VEGETABLES WORLDWIDE

In the cuisines of the world, there are thousands of different pickle types. China makes an estimated makes 130 different kinds of pickles; there are some 200 types of Korean kimchi.

Pickled vegetables are used as condiments or eaten as side dishes.

What Americans call “pickles” are typically pickled cucumbers; but pickled apples, asparagus, beets, bell peppers (remember Peter Piper), cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, fennel, jalapeño, mushrooms, okra, onions, peaches, radishes, tomatoes, watermelon and many more foods are pickled—including sauerkraut, pickled cabbage—and hence, are also pickles.

Italian immigrants in the 19th century brought giardiniera, a delightful blend of pickled bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower, onions and zucchini.

Beginning in the latter half of the 20th century, immigrants from countries beyond Europe brought their own wonderful pickle traditions. A small sample:

  • Chinese pào cài, a mix of carrots, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, daikon radish, ginger, hot chiles, long beans, mustard stems, turnips.
  • India’s mango pickles (yes, a fruit).
  • Indonesian acar, a mix of cabbage, carrots, cucumber, and/or long beans spiced with chiles and sliced shallots.
  • Israeli torshi, pickled turnips.
  • Japanese tsukemono: gari and beni shoga, pickled ginger; kyurizuke, cucumber pickles; takuan, pickled daikon radish; shibazuke, a mix of chopped cucumbers and eggplant; ume, pickled plum; among others.
  • Korean kimchi; baechu kimchi, the most commonly found in the U.S.
  • Moroccan preserved (pickled) lemons.
  •  
    It’s not just fruits and vegetables: cheese, eggs, fish, meats, even tea, are pickled.

    > Here’s a list of pickled foods worldwide.

    Our own Pickle Glossary features mostly European-style pickles, with some global varieties added (we’ll be adding more).

    It’s good reading (do you know the difference between a genuine dill pickle and a German dill pickle), and the pickles look delicious.

    By the way, olives, which have been pickled in the Middle East since pre-history, are pickled—not pickled vegetables, but pickled fruits—the fruits of the olive tree.

    Cucumbers are also botanical fruits, as are tomatoes (the difference between fruits and vegetables).
     
     
    PICKLED FRUITS

    What about pickled fruits? Long before the invention of canning, fruits were preserved by pickling.

    In the U.S. alone, anything that could be pickled was pickled: apples, apricots, apricots (blackberries, blueberries, cranberries), cherries, crab apples, currants, grapes, melon, peaches, pears, plums, raisins, tomatoes (including cherry and green tomatoes)…just about any fruit can be pickled.

    From around the world, we have pickled mango,
     
     
    QUICK PICKLING AT HOME

    You don’t need to preserve fruits and vegetables to enjoy them pickled. You can pickle them in an hour without any equipment (meant to be consumed in a week or two, not for long-term storage).

    Here’s how to do it.

    Why not start with pickled apples, which are delicious:

  • As a side with grilled, poached and roasted meats and seafood
  • As a condiment with sandwiches and burgers
  • With a cheese board
  • As a general snack
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    PICKLING VS. FERMENTING

    Pickling and fermenting are different ways to the same end, i.e., preserving the vegetable. The difference:

  • Pickling involves putting the food into an acidic brine to produce a sour flavor
  • Fermenting provides the sour flavor without any added acid, employing natural microorganisms such as bacteria or yeast.
     
    Here’s more about it.

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    Chicken Vesuvio Recipe: Chicken & Potato Wedges For National Potato Month

    Who wouldn’t want to dig in to this plate of chicken and roasted potato wedges? You don’t need to know that September is National Potato Month; August 19th is National Potato Day. This is comfort food for every day of the year.

    The recipe comes to us from the Chicago restaurant La Scarola (Italian for escarole), specializing in southern Italian food with lots of white wine and fresh tomato sauce.

    The restaurant cites illustrious clientele such as Robert De Niro, Johnny Depp, Bill Murray and the Sinatra family. But true connoisseurs are just as illustrious.

    Thanks to proprietor Joe Mondelli and chef Armando Vasquez for this Chicken Vesuvio recipe.
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF CHICKEN VESUVIO

    Chicken Vesuvio, a specialty of Chicago, is an Italian-American dish made from chicken on the bone and wedges of potato, sautéed with garlic, oregano, white wine and olive oil. It’s then baked until the chicken’s skin becomes crisp.

    The casserole is often garnished with a few green peas for color; although baby arugula is a lovely touch (instead or with the peas).

    In Chicago, one also often finds the technique applied to other foods: Steak Vesuvio, Pork Chops Vesuvio, even Vesuvio potatoes.

    While the origins of the dish are not known, it might have been popularized by the Vesuvio Restaurant, which operated at 15 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, in the 1930s. Some food historians have suggested that variants of Chicken Vesuvio can be found among the chicken dishes of the traditional cuisines of southern Italy [source].
     
     
    RECIPE: CHICKEN VESUVIO

    This recipe is straight from La Scarola restaurant, and is restaurant-sized: three whole chickens! It’s easy to divide the ingredients by three to make dinner for four.
     
    Ingredients

  • 9 large Idaho® russet potatoes (about 10 ounces each), cut into lengthwise wedges
  • 3 whole chickens (4-5 pounds each), cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Vegetable and olive oil for frying
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 24 oz chicken stock, lightly salted
  • 1-1/2 cup white wine
  • 1-1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut in pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Optional garnish: baby arugula
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Arrange the potatoes in single layer on one or two sheet pans. Add water to barely cover bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with foil; bake 15 minutes until potatoes are partially cooked. Remove from the oven.

    2. SEASON the chicken with salt, pepper and oregano. Add equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil to coat a deep, wide skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken skin side down, leaving space in the pan to add potatoes. Use multiple pans if needed. Brown the chicken on one side, about 10 minutes.

    3. TURN the chicken over; add enough potatoes proportionately to the number of chicken servings in the pan. Cook until the second side of chicken is brown.

    4. ADD the garlic and place the pan(s) in the oven. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (165°F in the center).

    5. RETURN the pan to the stove. Add the stock, wine and peas proportionately to the number of servings in the pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Cook 5 minutes. Gradually add the butter and stir until the sauce is slightly reduced and creamy. Stir in the parsley.
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF CHICKEN
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF POTATOES
     
     
    > THE DIFFERENT CUTS OF CHICKEN
     
     
    > THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF POTATOES

     


    [1] Chicken Vesuvio, crispy chicken and potato wedges (photo © Idaho Potato Commission).


    [2] Buy the chicken whole or pre-cut (photo © Good Eggs).


    [3] Russet potatoes (photo © Williams Sonoma).


    [4] Green peas were originally added for a touch of color. You can use fresh or frozen (photo © The Chef’s Garden).

    Baby Arugula
    [5] Baby arugula (photo © Baldor | Facebook).

     

      

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    Burrata Salad Recipe: Simple, Beautiful, Delicious


    [1] A simple salad of mixed baby greens, topped with burrata, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze (photo © Hill And Bay | NYC).


    [2] Top baby greens with burrata (here baby spinach and arugula sprouts) and a drizzle of olive oil. Watermelon radishes add color (photo © Good Eggs).


    [3] Burrata atop sundried tomatoes in EVOO, with arugula (photo © L’Amico | NYC).

    Grilled Peaches With Burrata
    [4] It can be a fruit salad, too. You don’t have to grill the peaches: Just slice your favorite fruits, toss in berries, and you’ve got breakfast, lunch or dessert (photo © DeLallo).

     

    There’s nothing better than creating a beautiful dish that takes little or no effort. That’s how we feel about burrata salad: burrata cheese on top of interesting greens, with a garnish of olive oil and balsamic glaze. It’s great anytime: for a special occasion dinner, for an everyday lunch or the first course of an everyday dinner.

    Add some crunchy crostini, and it’s heaven.

    Just buy a burrata and baby greens or frisée, and use the EVOO and balsamic glaze you already have in the pantry.

    Voilà: a delicious salad with eye appeal (photo #1).
     
     
    WHAT IS BURRATA?

    Burrata is a “filled” mozzarella, a specialty of the Apulia region of Italy—the “heel of the boot.”

    The word means “buttery” in Italian.

    Burrata was formerly imported from Italy, traditionally wrapped in a green leaf and very perishable. If you lived in a major city with a specialty cheese shop, you might find it.

    But as more importers carried it and American foodies discovered it, it took off with American cheese-makers as well.

    The result was just as good; and you can now find burrata across America (we buy ours at Trader Joe’s).

    A hollow ball of buffalo mozzarella (mozzarella di bufala) is filled with panna (panna di latte, a.k.a. straciatella): cream that contains scraps of mozzarella left over from the mozzarella-making. The panna seems like very fine-grained ricotta.

    Cut into the burrata ball and the cream oozes out. While both buttery and creamy, it is not overly rich—just overly delicious.

    While burrata seems made to pair with salads, fresh vegetables and fruits, you can enjoy it simply with crostini, or get more creative and add it to pasta dishes.
     
     
    MORE BURRATA RECIPES

    You can’t go wrong with burrata at any time: as a breakfast cheese with toast; for lunch with a salad; as a snack; and at the end of dinner as a cheese course or dessert with berries and other fresh fruits.

    Take a bite:

  • Burrata & Fruit Dessert Or Breakfast
  • Burrata Dessert
  • Burrata, Plum & Pepita Salad
  • Burrata Serving Suggestions
  • Crostini With Burrata & Slow Roasted Tomatoes
  • Garlic Crostini With Spring Peas & Burrata
  • Grilled Peaches With Burrata
  • Grilled Grapes & Burrata For A Cheese Course
  • Plum Salad With Burrata, Pepitas & Honey
  • Prosciutto Salad With Frisée & Burrata
  • Spaghetti Caprese With Burrata
  • Spring Burrata Salad With Watermelon Radish
  • Spring Burrata Salad Recipe With Asparagus
  • Spring Peas & Burrata Salad
  • Straciatella Cheese: The Filling In Burrata
  • Watermelon, Tomato & Burrata Salad
  •  
     
    > THE HISTORY OF BURRATA CHEESE
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF CHEESE
     
     
    > THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CHEESE

     

     
      

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    Nick’s Keto Snack Bars: Great Taste With No Added Sugar

    We couldn’t believe that N!CK’S Swedish Style Snack Bar had no added sugar (and just 2g sugar overall).

    The line was developed to conform with the keto† diet. It provides a full-flavor candy bar experience using non-caloric, plant-based sweeteners; and delivers 14g – 15g of protein to boot.

    You’d never know that there was zero refined sugar in these snack bars. The sweetness comes from alternative plant-based sweeteners* that provide sweetness without calories.

    They taste great! That’s why they’re our Top Pick Of The Week.

    If the flavor we tried (Choklad Peanot) is representative of all three varieties, they provide the experience of a chocolate-coated candy bar while being so much better for you.
     
     
    NICK’S KETO SNACK BAR FLAVORS

    N!CK’s gives you a keto candy bar experience with low net carbs and high protein. The flavors:

  • Choklad Peanot Bar, with lots of peanuts and caramel (3 net carbs, 15g protein, 180 calories).
  • Krispi Nougat Bar, with crispy bits and chocolate hazelnut cream (4 net carbs, 15g protein, 190 calories).
  • Karamell Choklad Bar with velvety caramel (4 net carbs, 14g protein, 160 calories).
  •  
    All are sweetened with natural noncaloric sweeteners*.
     
    The line is vegan.
     
     
    THE CHOKLAD PEANOT BAR

    To date we’ve only tasted the Choklad Peanot Bar. It’s bursting with fresh peanut crunch and gooey caramel, .

    It’s oh-so-satisfying, and so chewy that it lasts longer. Have it with a beverage, and you’ll be full.

    We’ve even had them for lunch (there’s 15g protein, after all).

    It’s a guilt-free indulgence, worth every calorie.
     
     
    GET YOURS

    The NICK’s website currently only features only Choklad Peanot Bar.

    Amazon has all three flavors.

    A box of 12 bars is $335.95. That’s 12 days of yummy snack breaks!

    ________________

    *N!CK’s products use a variety of plant-based sweeteners, including:
    Allulose, a sweetener found in figs and raisins.
    Erythritol, found in pears, plums and fermented foods. It can also be made from corn.
    Monk fruit, a small green gourd from Asia that has been used for sweetening since the 13th century.
    Stevia, from the stevia plant of South America.
    Sweet fiber, soluble corn fiber.
    Xylitol, also called birch sugar. It is naturally found in fruits and vegetables, and is produced in small amounts by our bodies every day.
     
    Check out our glossary of noncaloric sweeteners.

    †The ketogenic diet (keto for short) is a low carb, high fat diet that offers many health benefits. Here’s more about it.

     


    [1] The keto-friendly Choklad Peanot Bar from N!CK’S, one of three flavors (all photos © N!ICK’S).


    [2] N!CK’S Krispi Nougat Bar.


    [3] Karamell Choklad bars. The bars are sold in boxes of 12.

     

      

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    Sweet Potato Pizza For National Potato Month


    [1] A sweet potato pizza with caramelized onions, copressata and balsamic glaze (photo and recipe © DeLallo).


    [2] Sweet sopressata, a dry salami from southern Italy (photo © Our Harvest).


    [3] Mascarpone, rich and creamy (photo © Vermont Creamery).


    [4] Provolone cheese is a close cousin of mozzarella. Both are stretched-curd cheeses, called pasta filata (stretched paste) in Italian (photo © Murray’s Cheese).

     

    For National Potato Month, September, go beyond the Big Three (baked, fries, mashed) and try something new. We’re fond of a white pizza of smoked salmon and sliced potatoes, garnished with salmon caviar. But today, we’re making a sweet potato pizza. It’s an Old World-New World fusion food: pizza from Italy, potatoes from the Americas.

    The lively meld of flavors include sweet potato, caramelized onions, sopressata, mascarpone cheese, provolone, fresh sage and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

    Sopressata (also spelled soppressata, sopresseta, soprasata and sopresatta) is a dry Italian salami made from coarsely ground pork sausage seasoned with garlic, savory spices and whole black peppercorns.

    If you can’t find it, substitute prosciutto di Parma or any dry Italian salami.

    > The history of potatoes

    > The history of pizza
     
     
    RECIPE: SWEET POTATO PIZZA WITH CARAMELIZED ONION, SOPRESSATA & BALSAMIC GLAZE

    Ingredients

  • 1 (17.6-ounce) DeLallo Pizza Dough Kit or ready-made dough
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces shredded provolone cheese
  • 4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 6 ounces sweet sopressata, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage,chopped
  •  
    Preparation

    If you have ready-to-use pizza dough, skip Step 1.

    1. COMBINE the flour mix and yeast packet in a large mixing bowl with 1-1/4 cups of lukewarm water. Stir with a fork until the dough begins to form. Knead by hand for 3 minutes, or until the dough is soft and smooth. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. (After this step, you can refrigerate for use within 1-3 days.)

    2. PREHEAT the oven to 500°F. Wash the potatoes and poke holes using a fork. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 1 hour. Meanwhile…

    3. HEAT a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, melt the butter; then turn down the heat to low. Add the onions and stir to coat with the butter. Spread the onions evenly in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, sprinkle them with salt. Cook for 30 more minutes, or until caramelized. (Editor’s note: Ours were done in 10 minutes.)

    4. REMOVE the sweet potatoes from the oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Scoop out the sweet potato flesh and discard or repurpose the skins*. Pulse in a food processor with the salt. Add the olive oil and purée until smooth.

    5. REDUCE the oven temperature to 450°F. Cut the pizza dough in half. Roll out the dough into a circle on a floured surface. Evenly spread the puréed potato mixture onto the dough. Sprinkle with the provolone. Top with the onions, dollops of mascarpone and the sliced sopressata.

    6. BAKE for 10-12 minutes, or until the provolone melts and the crust becomes golden brown. Remove from the oven. Allow to rest for 2-3 minutes before cutting.

    7. DRIZZLE with the balsamic glaze, sprinkled with sage and serve.
     
    ________________

    *The skins are where the fiber is. You can slice them and crisp them in a hot pan or add them to scrambled eggs and omelets.

     

     
      

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