Pickled Rosemary Garlic

IMG_7609Pickled garlic is so delicious and very simple to make. Pickling the garlic mellows out the harshness and makes it so tasty you can eat it straight out of the jar. The recipe below consists of a simple brine, some herbs, and garlic. It is designed to be canned using the hot water bath canning method. However, you could use the same recipe and instead make a refrigerator pickle.

Pickled Rosemary Garlic
Recipe adapted from Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

Ingredients:
7 Large Heads of Garlic, peeled
1 1/2 Cups Vinegar
1 1/2 Cups Water
1 1/2 Tbsp. Pickling Salt
1 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary

Peel the garlic, cutting out any discolored parts of the clove.
IMG_7593Combine vinegar, water, salt, in a medium saucepan. Gently bruise the rosemary to release the oils and add to the saucepan. Bring the brine to a boil, allowing the rosemary to infuse the brine while you prepare your hot water bath, jars, and lids. Fill prepared jars with garlic, leaving 1/2″ head space. Once your jars are filled, strain the rosemary from the brine and pour hot brine over the garlic cloves. I added a pinch of red pepper flakes to a few jars, but feel free to omit them.
IMG_7600Wipe the jar rims and apply lids and rings. At this point you can place the jars in the refrigerator or process the jars for 10 minutes, once the water begins to boil.
When the time is up, turn off the heat and leave jars in pot until cool enough to handle. Remove the rings and test the seals. Any unsealed jars should go directly into the refrigerator.
IMG_7614I recommend waiting at least a week or two before opening your first jar. This allows sufficient time for the harshness to dissipate. This will store for up to one year in a cool dark place.
IMG_7621Some other great variations:
Curry Ginger
– add 1/2 tsp grated ginger, 1 tsp curry powder, and 1/2 tsp tumeric to the brine.
Mediterranean
-add 1/2 tsp. each of dried basil, dried rosemary, dried parsley, and dried oregano to the brine.

Enjoy!

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Hummus with Homemade Tahini

I try to make this every couple weeks since it’s works great as a condiment, spread, or chip dip. I typically use store-bought tahini, but it seems we forgot to replenish our supply after the last batch of hummus. Finding a half cup of sesame seeds in the spice cupboard I ventured to create my own. It ended up being extremely simple, although a bit time consuming since it was made by hand. I definitely prefer the homemade version. Not as salty, with a nuttier smokier flavor. This recipe is a great since it can be used as basic recipe that you can add various herbs, spices, and sauces for variety.

Tahini
1/2 Cup Sesame Seeds
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp. Salt
(yields ~1/2cup)

Begin by toasting the sesame seeds in a dry pan (cast iron works great!) over medium heat stirring occasionally to ensure they evenly toast (~10 minutes).

Once the seeds are toasted pour them into a mortar, or food processor, along with the salt.

Using the mortar and pestle, grind the seeds until most of the hulls have split.

Since the moisture content of the sesame seeds can vary add the olive oil 1 Tbsp at a time until you get a consistency similar to natural peanut butter. Don’t be concerned if there are still whole seeds. They’ll either be taken care of in the food processor or add texture.

Hummus
1 – 15oz. can Chickpeas
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Tahini
2-3 Cloves Garlic

Drain chickpeas, reserving 1/3 cup of liquid. Add chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and tahini to food processor. Process until desired consistency, adding reserved liquid as needed.

This hummus is perfectly delicious as is, but our favorite way to serve it….

…is with some spice!

Creamy, nutty, spicy perfection!

Some other great variations:
Rosemary and Olive Oil Hummus
– Add 1 Tbsp. chopped rosemary and 2 Tbsp. good flavored EVOO.

Sour Cream and Onion Hummus
– Add 1 additional Tbsp. lemon juice and 2 Tsp. onion powder.

Pizza Party Hummus
– Add 1/4 cup chopped sliced pepperoni, 1 Tsp. dried oregano, 1 Tsp. dried basil, 1/2 tsp onion power.

Enjoy!