Sunday, November 18, 2012

Inside My Lunchbox Again

One of the things I miss most about Boston is Clover. They have many, many delicious options, but my favorite will always be the chickpea fritter. This is my attempt to recreate that brilliant wrap.

I made "chickpea fritters" or flattened falafels using spices and ground chickpeas with lots of parsley. As I am not a believer in home frying, and in order to keep these on the healthier side I baked the patties. The wrap was made with fresh tortillas, spinach, some plain hummus, and homemade quick pickles (I used the brine from my pickled okra with persian cucumber slices). Served with a side of purple grapes. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Okra Smokra

Did I ever tell you all about that time during Hurricane Isaac when Erik and I got called yuppies by a stranger?
It was probably 2 or 3 days post electricity, and we were on a hunt for ice. After an unsuccessful trip to the grocery store nearest our house we drove a little further to Winn Dixie, where we found a whole glorious mountain of ice. Upon checking out, the cashier asked if we had a store discount card. When we said we did not, she said, "oh, do you guys usually shop at whole foods?"
I was thinking about this as I rode my vintage bike home from the farmer's market last week with my basket full of vegetables. Yes. I am a yuppie.

Anyway. Let's get real. Does anyone really just like plain okra? If you live in the south, no doubt you have a complicated relationship with okra. On one hand, it is an extremely cheap, healthy, plentiful vegetable and the farmer's markets overflow with local crops. On the other hand, it has a mucus-like quality.
I know, I am selling it here.
The slimeyness of okra is due to mucilage which makes okra rich in dietary fiber. The slime only really comes out when you cut okra, so if you keep the pods whole it can be avoided. These pickled okra are best if you use small pods that can be devoured in one or two bites. The pickling brine is adaptable and can be used with other vegetables too.

Quick Pickled Okra
3 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup salt1.5 pints okra
1 tablespoon Sunny Paris spice (optional)

2 jalapenos, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
In a saucepan heat up water, vinegar, and salt. Take clean glass jar and stuff all of your okra, jalapenos, and garlic inside. If using additional spices pour over top of okra in jar. Take the heated liquid and fill up the jar to the top. Put the lid on and place jar in refrigerator for 3-5 days. I find they get better if you let them sit a little longer.

P.S. these would make an excellent addition to any Thanksgiving relish tray.