Tagliatelle and Walnuts

I think I should eat more nuts and I’m trying to find new ways to use them. We had couple of pears at home and I got an idea of pasta with walnuts and pears. The combination was good, but the nuts could have been nicer if they had been partially crushed. I sprinkled almesan (from Veganomicon) on top, but the meal would have been good without it too.

Walnut Pasta

180g tagliatelle (6 balls)
water and salt for cooking

2 small pears
1 dl white wine
2 tbsp oil
2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
2 celery ribs
3 dl walnuts
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp basil
0,5 tsp parsley
salt and pepper

Cook the tagliatelle according to instructions on package.

Peel the pears and cut in bite size chunks. Put them and white wine into a small pot and simmer 10 minutes. Peel the shallots, cut them half and slice. Mince the garlic and slice the celery. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the shallots and garlic about a minute. Add celery and sauté another minute or two. Add the walnuts and keep sautéing until the shallots and celery are soft. Add the pears and wine, herbs and lemon juice. Season with salt an pepper. Combine with cooked pasta and serve.

Harvesting And Pickling

Yesterday I posted some photos from our garden. Here’s something that has grown there: a big zucchini, a small yellow summer squash, kohlrabi and snow peas. Kohlrabis are still a bit small, but we took them to make more room for others to grow. Some zucchini, kohlrabis and handful of snow peas were stir fried with some cauliflower, carrots, onions and beans.

We also found a lot of cucumbers. Since we were away for a week, some of them had grown too big.  Here they are on our kitchen table, sorted by variety and size. I don’t know English names for the cucumbers, but in front is Favör II WW, left pile is the good cucumbers and right taste-before-using. Behind them is Reinin Rypäle, sorted by size the same way. In the back are the oversized ones that can’t be eaten.

I used one inedible cucumber to make serving bowl for cucumber relish. Some of the good cucumbers were eaten fresh in salads, but most of them were pickled.

The recipe makes one 5l bucket of sliced pickles. I often slice my cucumbers before pickling, because then you can fit more of them in one jar. If you prefer pickling whole cucumbers, poke some holes on them first to make sure the liquid goes inside the cucumbers too and they won’t become soft and icky. You may also need to make more liquid, because there will be more empty space in your jar.

Pickled Cucumbers

cucumbers (4,5l when sliced)
10 thin horseradish slices
big bunch of dill (few long stalks with the flowers)
6 garlic cloves or some chili slices (optional)
black currant or oak leaves, if available

2 l water
4 dl sugar
6 dl distilled vinegar
2 tblsp salt
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp black pepper corns

Before slicing the cucumbers, soak them in cold water at least half an hour, few hours is good. Brush them to remove the little spikes. Slice.

Use a plastic bucket with a lid or few big glass jars. Put a thick layer of cucumbers into a bucket/jar and put a layer of leaves (if you have), some horseradish, dill and garlic/chili (if using). Continue making layers until all the cucumbers are used. Put currant leaves and dill on top.

Mix water, sugar, salt, mustard seeds and peppercorns in a pot and boil 5-10 minutes. Add vinegar, bring to boil again and pour on the cucumbers. The liquid should cover all the cucumbers, but if it doesn’t you have to make a little more. Close the lids, let cool and keep in cold place at least three weeks before serving.

Greetings From The Garden

We were on a week long vacation, and obviously we couldn’t take care of our garden during that time. Luckily it had rained and the weather hadn’t been so super hot while we were away. Nearly all our plants were doing well.

The snow peas look like they’re dying, but they’re still producing pods! Fava beans and radishes aren’t doing well either: some bugs have eaten them.

But the chard looks great and the biggest leaves would be ready to eat.

Here’s our first pumpkin. Isn’t it cute? There has been lots of flowers, but this is the first that has developed into a pumpkin.