In further keeping with the theme of the summer--that is, "Oh man, I'm definitely not cooking an actual meal today,"--I've been making a slew of random condiments, garnishes, and snacks. It's AMAZING and I love it.
First, I decided to use some of the whey I got from making labneh with plain yogurt. I always want to use the whey, but I rarely find anything I actually want to make before it's turned questionable. But not this time! This time I just so happened to be reading about Phickle's lactofermented mustard. So obviously a lactofermented mustard was meant to be.
Yes, I have been staging a lot of pictures right here. It's the shelf immediately to the left of my kitchen windows, so it gets good light.
Anyway. Lactofermented mustard turns out to be super easy and VERY MUCH worth the minimal effort.
I didn't see a whole lot of active fermentation--no bubbles or anything of that nature--but the results are still pretty stunning. My mustard is spicy and complex and just the barest bit sweet. And I have enough to last for months! HOORAY.
This certainly made for some excellent sandwiches. But you know what else makes for excellent sandwiches? Pickles. So I broke out the vinegar, veg, and spices, and put together a batch of Emmy Cooks' spicy pickled peppers and one of Marisa's pickled eggplant.
I've made these pickled peppers before; they're one of the best sandwich accoutrements of all time. They're also super easy: make a simple brine, pour it over a jarful of sliced peppers, season with peppercorns and dill, and put in in the fridge. Voila! Pickled peppers for your delight & edification.
You should absolutely make some of these. I mean it. We can go through a jar in a few weeks if we're eating a lot of sandwiches. They're also really good sprinkled over salads, or even a bowl of spicy chili.
The pickled eggplant, however, was new & intriguing. So I hit the farmer's market for a handful of long thin Chinese eggplant, grabbed a bottle of vinegar, and went to work.
For the eggplant pickle, you simmer salted & drained eggplant spears in red wine vinegar and pack them into jars with basil and pepper. Then you process them in a water bath canner for ten minutes. Marisa has the full process on her post at Food in Jars.
I had to wait a week to crack one of these guys open and satisfy my curiosity.
If you like a serious red wine vinegar flavor and enjoy the soft texture of steamed eggplant, you will like these pickles. Since the flavor is so intense, it's probably a good idea to combine them with a mild or rich component. I personally have found them to be great in an open-faced sandwich with a couple slices of cheese and some crispy mild lettuce.
Pickles and mustards for all!
What garnishes and condiments have you guys made lately? Are you canning any new and interesting things?