A Cure for Neglected Vegetables

My vegetable bin often contains what I call “sad” vegetables.   Perhaps the cucumbers or the celery aren’t crisp or there are one or two unloved radishes or carrots left over. Combining sea salt with water and spices to make a brining solution is a delicious way to extend the life of your vegetables. The combination of salt, black pepper and sugar provides a spicy, sultry burst of flavor that tickles your tongue.

Radish Cucumber Salad
Brining the vegetables also gives them a savory flavor, a vibrant color and preserves them.   Just trim off the brown spots and remove any wilted leaves first.    Brining also provides me with a new way to save money by preserving vegetables that typically would be placed in the compost bin.

This recipe for Pickled Cucumber and Radish Salad uses a quick salt brining technique that’s perfect for 1 1/2 pounds of any combination of your favorite neglected vegetables–even if you don’t have cucumbers and radishes.

Pickled Cucumber and Radish Salad

Makes 4 servings

6 cups water
1 teaspoon stevia
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 lb Kirby cucumbers
1/2 lb radishes, trimmed and quartered
1 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil

Boil water, sugar, garlic, peppercorns, and 3 tablespoons salt in a 4-quart pot, uncovered, 10 minutes.

While brine is boiling, halve cucumbers lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices.

Remove brine from heat and add cucumbers and radishes. Let stand, uncovered, 10 minutes, then drain in a colander, discarding garlic and peppercorns. Transfer cucumbers and radishes to a bowl of ice and cold water to cool, then drain well in colander.

Toss cucumbers and radishes with parsley, oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and chill, uncovered, about 20 minutes.  The salad can be made ahead and refrigerated.   Delicious when served with broiled or pan-seared fish.

The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” She blogs for Vitacost.com and  Momonomics.com  on a weekly basis.

The Kitchen Diva

The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.”

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About The Kitchen Diva

The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.”

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