Gifts from the Garden

Jul 17, 2023

Gifts from the Garden

Jul 17, 2023

As we all wait for this summer's offering of fresh fruits and veggies, (I am craving homegrown tomatoes), I happened to find some interesting recipe ideas that would complete a gift basket of your fresh garden bounty. The Lemon Pepper Mayonnaise would pair perfectly with tomato slices or stuffed tomatoes served at your garden luncheon. (This mayonnaise uses cooked eggs). The Lemon Pepper Oil is needed in the mayo recipe but is also perfect for sauteing asparagus and broccoli or the oil can be used as a substitute for butter in your side-dish of rice. The Nectarine Vinegar can be the basis of a vinaigrette, sprinkled over a fruit salad or combined with marmalade as a glaze for pork, a veal roast or baked fruit. Place a sprig of fresh French tarragon in a decorative bottle before pouring in the vinegar for gifting.

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Lemon Pepper Mayonnaise

2 large egg yolks
½ tsp. salt
1 cup Lemon Pepper Oil (recipe following)
2 tablespoons boiling water

Fill the bottom of a double boiler about halfway with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and put the egg yolks and salt in the top of the double boiler. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking constantly, until the yolks thicken and begin to bubble around the edge.

While continuing to whisk, remove the pan from the heat. Slowly add the oil in a thin stream, about a teaspoonful at a time, whisking until each teaspoonful is absorbed before adding the next. Continue until about half the oil has been added and the mixture has thickened to the consistency of cream.

Whisk in the remaining oil a tablespoonful at a time, until completely incorporated into the mixture, then whisk in the 2 tablespoons boiling water.

The mayonnaise is ready to use immediately and can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

Yield = about ¾ cup.

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Lemon Pepper Oil

½ tablespoon whole white peppercorns
Zest of 1 lemon, roughly chopped, (about 3 tablespoons)
1 cup avocado oil

Layer the peppercorns between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Crush by running a rolling pin over the peppercorns 7 or 8 times, until you no longer hear them pop.

Combine the crushed peppercorns, lemon zest, and oil in a ½ pint Mason jar. Seal the jar and set it aside for 8 hours, shaking it occasionally.

Strain the contents through a fine sieve into a 1-cup glass measuring cup. Rinse and dry the Mason jar and return the oil to the jar. Cover and store in a cool, dark place.

The oil is ready to use immediately. It has a shelf life of about 2 months.

Yield = 1 cup.

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Nectarine Vinegar

2 cups cider vinegar
1 ½ lbs. firm nectarines (about 6 medium), stoned and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)

Warm the vinegar in a small, nonreactive saucepan over low heat just until it begins to steam, taking care not to boil.

Put the nectarines into a clean and dry ½ gallon clamp jar and pour the warm vinegar over them. Close tightly and shake gently. Set the jar out of direct sunlight away from heat for 5 days, shaking occasionally. While steeping, the vinegar will absorb most of the pigment from the nectarines.

Strain the contents through a fine sieve into a 2-cup or 4-cup glass measuring cup. Rinse the jar and return the strained vinegar to it.

Discard the fruit, rinse the sieve, and line it with a damp flat-bottom coffee filter. Rinse the measuring cup and fit the lined sieve on top. Pour in the vinegar a bit at a time, allowing it to drip into the measuring cup.

Transfer the vinegar to flasks or bottles. It is ready to use immediately and has a shelf life of at least 1 year. Store out of direct sunlight.

Yield = 2 cups

The Bountiful Kitchen. Barry Bluestein and Kevin Morrisey. Penguin Putnam Inc., New York, NY. 1997

By Deanna Wade, Master Gardener
Author - Master Gardener