Pickled Peppers

These addictive peppers are wonderful incorporated into a grilled cheese sandwich to serve alongside this week’s soup.

Ingredients:
4 cups assorted peppers (such as orange Italian, red Carmen and sweet Bull’s Horn grilling peppers)
1½ cups distilled white vinegar
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons coriander seeds

Method:
1. Stem peppers and, leaving seeds, cut into ¼-inch rings, then pack in a clean 1 quart jar.

2. Bring vinegar, all remaining ingredients, and 1½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour hot brine over peppers; seal jar. Let cool, then refrigerate. Serve within 1 month.

Sweet Onion Confit

This buttery-sweet topping is wonderful in sandwiches or even atop pizza!

Ingredients:
2 sweet onions
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon balsamic or sherry vinegar (optional)

Method:
1. Peel and slice the sweet onions. Heat a bit of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.

2. Add sweet onions, sprinkle with salt, reduce heat to medium low or low and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are extremely tender and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Keep heat low enough so onions are cooking but not browning; caramelizing will brown them inside-out rather than bits of browning on the outside first. Finish with a splash of balsamic or sherry vinegar, if you like.

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Fresh Corn Salad

Crisp, crunchy and spicy, this side salad also makes for a wonderful salsa paired with tortilla chips or pita.

Ingredients:
3 cups corn kernels, cut from husks
1 heirloom tomato, seeded and diced, or 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
2 sweet peppers, seeded and diced
1 Anaheim chile pepper, seeded and diced
½ Walla Walla sweet onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Combine corn, tomato, peppers, Anaheim chili, sweet onion and garlic in a small mixing bowl.

2. Toss in garlic, cilantro and parsley and combine, then drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as desired.

Eggplant Caponata

This traditional Tuscan relish is lovely on toasted crostini.

Ingredients:
1 Walla Walla sweet onion, minced
1 eggplant, chopped into ½-inch chunks
4-6 sweet peppers, seeded and chopped
1 cup diced heirloom tomato
2 celery stalks, thinly-sliced
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon capers
Sea salt and pepper
Fresh basil leaves, torn

Method:
1. Add chopped onion in a skillet with the olive oil, and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add chopped celery stalk, peppers and eggplant and cook for an additional 4-6 minutes until vegetables are tender.

2. Add golden raisins, chopped oregano and about ½ cup water. Bring mixture to a simmer, and allow water to evaporate, cooking about 8-10 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes and cider vinegar and capers; cook for about 3 minutes, until mixture is uniform and tomatoes are just softened. Season with salt and pepper and top with torn basil.

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