Preserving the harvest or "putting up" as they say in the Midwest is usually associated with preserved fruit and canned vegetables, all of which were essential for people living in colder climates who needed to preserve for the winter when nothing would grow. But it turns out, people in warmer climates also put away for the reduced growing season months, whether it is drying tomatoes and peppers or pickling vegetables in vinegars. Here are a couple of examples, marinated artichokes and pickled jalapeňos.
Several weeks ago the Farmers' Market had baby purple artichokes and, as I am want to do, I bought a bunch without thinking what I would do with them. Instead of gobbling them all down in a couple of sittings, I realized I could put up, southern climate style. So I roasted them with garlic and topped them with olive oil to await my eating pleasure later in the year.
Pickled jalapenos are an ingredient I love to toss in pasta, on pizza or in this white bean hummus. Once I realized that making my own was a snap - slice and cover with equal parts cider vinegar and water - I always have some of these lovelies on hand. It is best to put them up in the summer when they are so abundant and cheap in the market!
Marinated Baby Artichokes
2 lbs baby artichokes
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim bottom leaves off of artichoke and cut at least 1/2 to 1 inch off top. Cut in half or quarter depending on size. Place in bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent browning. After you finish cutting all, drain and dry well in cloth dish towel. Toss with olive oil, garlic and salt and roast for 20-25 minutes until outer leaves are tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Place in mason jar and tamp down to pack tightly. Cover with olive oil and set in cool, dark pantry space. Once opened, refrigerate.
1 lb jalapeňos, sliced 1/2 inch thick
Place jalapenos in jar that fits all slices with at least 1 inch of space at top. combine equal parts of vinegar and water and pour over slices and make sure they are completely covered. Cap and store in cool dark pantry space; refrigerate once opened again.
NOTE: If you notice that there is some whitish looking stuff at the top, that is simply the natural live culture of the cider vinegar interacting with the pepper. You can just rinse it off if it bothers you.