Pickled Radish, Cucumber and Red Onion

raw radish and cucumbers

Somehow we ended up with a large bag of radishes in our fridge and I didn’t know what to do with them. Well, actually, the radishes were on sale and that’s how we ended up with them. As for what to do with them, I wanted something different that simply adding them to a salad. As a kid, it was a surprise every time I bit into a radish. In my mind, they looked like and should taste like peppermints so the earthy, spicy taste always took me by surprise. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them, I just had to take a couple bites to get over the initial shock.

This recipe came about from one I found online for pickled radish. When I started making it, we decided to add the cucumber and red onion.

pickled radish, cucumber and onion

Ingredients

  • 15 small radishes, about 6 ounces, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • One cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of coarse salt

Instructions

It’s real simple, mix the vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium sized bowl. Now, add the radishes, cucumber and red onion. Stir the mix well. Let this marinate for 30 minutes. You can store it in the refrigerator over night but the vegetables will get really mushy after 24 hours. When you’re done, save the seasoned vinegar for a salad dressing.

We had this as a salad on it’s own. However, you could easily mix it into a green salad if you wanted. Also, I think some shaved ginger would be good on this so I’ll add that next time.

Grilled Squash & Eggplant

This summer has been the summer of fresh veggies. We started going to the farmer’s market and really experimenting with all the locally grown vegetables. The tomatoes were awesome and we made our share of capresse salads! The other two vegetables that caught our eyes were the variety of squash and eggplants. We’ve always enjoyed squash in the summer but only the ones from the local grocery. I didn’t know there was such a diverse variety of them so we tries to pick samples that were new to us. Our favorite turns out to be the flying saucer squash. We cooked it every way we could imagine. We grilled it, baked it, stuffed it and made casseroles out of it. Every way was great, but to really enjoy the flavor, we found grilling to be the best.

Flying Saucer Squash

The same thing happened with eggplant. Neither of us have much experience with eggplants. They always look neat and fun when you see them in the market. Their bright purple skin always catches my eye but we didn’t know what to do with them so we skipped them. This summer at the farmer’s market we found the deep purple ones, but also some white one and striped ones. I looked online and found some really interesting recipes and we found out we really love the eggplants! The best tip I found on line was to sweat the eggplants with salt before you use them. This gets out the excess water and leaves a creamy, sweet texture that can be a meal on its own.

To celebrate the end of summer, here is our favorite way of preparing both the squash and eggplant. I’m already looking forward to next year’s crop!

Squash and Eggplant in bowl

Ingredients:

  • 2 squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch round discs
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Instructions

Once you’ve cut the squash and eggplant, place the eggplant on a cooking sheet and coat each side of the discs with a layer of salt. Let them sit in the salt to draw out the excess moisture. Check them periodically and drain off the water. Turn them over after about 15 minutes and re-salt them.

Squash and Eggplant cut

Once your ready, heat your grill to medium-high heat. Coat the squash and eggplant with a light layer of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Place them on the grill and cook 3 minutes per side.

Grilled Squash and Eggplant

When you’re done, the outside with have a thin skin on them but the inside will be moist and tender. If you’re vegetarian, this could be a main course, but for us, it is a great side for any kind of grilled meat. They are also great placed on top of a small bed of simple pasta.

Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo

When I was a kid, I didn’t like Brussels Sprouts but now I love them. I think the biggest difference is using fresh brussels sprouts instead of frozen or canned. I still don’t like them unless they are fresh!

Brussels Sprouts

This recipe combines the earthy brussels sprout with the spicy chorizo sausage. We used regular Mexican chorizo rather than the Spanish chorizo that all the other on-line recipes call for. The dish didn’t turn out very photogenic but it sure did taste good.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 pound chorizo, diced
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion (or large yellow onion), chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 table spoon olive oil

Instructions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the brussels sprouts. Cook the sprouts for 6 to 8 minutes, until just getting tender. Then transfer them to a bowl of ice water and let them cook for 5 minutes. Then, strain them and let them dry on a plate. You can pat them dry with paper towels.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet under medium heat and then add the chorizo. Cook for about 5 minutes then add the onion and garlic. Cook the mixture another 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Then, move the mixture to a bowl. Turn the heat up high and add the brussels sprouts. If it is too dry, you can add a little extra olive oil. Cook the brussels sprouts for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are brown and tender. Turn off the heat and then add the chorizo mixture and stir together with salt & pepper to taste. You can also add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if you like it spicier.