Posted on https://www.westernliving.ca/
Zucchini season is coming up, and one can only make so much zucchini bread. This new take on a summer classic from Vancouver-based nonprofit Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society pickles zucchinis—along with red peppers and onions—for a sweet and tangy relish. Heads up that you’ll need canning jars for this recipe (another plus: this condiment will last a long time).
Fresh Roots provides cooking and farming programs for youth in B.C.’s lower mainland, encouraging them to get their hands dirty and build their knowledge of food systems (and some pretty invaluable self-confidence). They’re hosting a Schoolyard Farm Dinner fundraiser on Thursday, July 7 at David Thompson Secondary School with top chefs serving up some excellent eats—think Hokkaido scallop ceviche from Organic Ocean, veggie burgers from Sirius Eats and rainbow trout roulade from Ono Vancouver, plus Ernest’s ice cream and 33 Acres beer. Proceeds from this event go straight back to the youth programs—get your tickets here. Now, on to the recipe.
3 lbs zucchinis cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
3 onions chopped
2 sweet red peppers diced
1/4 cup pickling salt
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
In a food processor, pulse zucchini, adding a few pieces at a time, until the size of rice with a few larger pieces for texture. Transfer the zucchini to a large mixing bowl. Stir in onions, red peppers and salt. Let the mixture sit for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Drain vegetable mixture well; rinse, and drain again, pressing out as much moisture as possible.
In a large shallow saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery seeds, ginger, turmeric and red pepper flakes; bring to boil. Add drained vegetable mixture; reduce heat and simmer, stirring often until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Mix cornstarch with water and stir into relish; simmer, and continue stirring until you can pull your spoon along the bottom of the pan leaving a path that fills in slowly (about 5 minutes).
Pack into four 1-cup (250 mL) canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch (1 cm) headspace. Remove any air bubbles with a non-metallic utensil, readjusting headspace if necessary. Wipe jar rims to remove any relish remnants before securing the lids. Cover with prepared lids. Twist on screw bands until resistance is met; increase to ‘fingertip tight’. Lower jars in the canner of boiling water making sure there is at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water above the jars. Process for 15 minutes.
Recipe: Make This Fresh Zucchini Relish for All Your Summer Sandwiches
Earth Day turns 50 this year! Back in 1970, an American politician named Gaylord Nelson wanted to harness the energy of youth activism to bring attention to environmental issues. That year, 20 million Americans (10% of the total population) took part in marches, rallies, and learning sessions, and their collective voices and the connections made from that first Earth Day led to important environmental legislation in the US, including the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts within three years.
Today, Earth Day is a global event that has gone digital! You can learn more and find lots more ideas of how to get involved at earthday.org. And, of course, we have a Fresh Five things you can do to celebrate this beautiful planet we call home.
Dress Your Veggies
Learn About Food & Climate
Discover Backyard Nature
Make Veggie Art
Sing Along with Eco Jams
May you love the Earth and all the life she sustains,
This week we got to see the the first full moon of Spring, and it was gorgeous! I hope you got to see it rising as the sun was setting. Many First Nations have traditional names for each of the 13 full moons of the year. The W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) name for this month’s full moon is Pexsisen, the Moon of the Opening Hands or the Blossoming Out Moon, which reflects both the blossoming of flowers and budding of trees, and the open hand gesture of gratitude.
(Learn more about all the W̱SÁNEĆ moons.)
The full moon also heralds a number of religious holidays and cultural spring festivals, including Passover, which starts April 8th, and Easter on April 12. Only a couple of weeks ago, people were celebrating the Spring Equinox, Nowruz, and Ostara, with Holi shortly before that. This year, Ramadan will start on April 23. And we’re right in Cherry Blossom season, as the trees at David Thompson are showing!
While there may be lots of different ways people celebrate this time of year, most of them involve gathering with family and community, and sharing food. This week’s Fresh Five are all about ways we can connect to our communities, make things to share, and have fun! Our gatherings may need to be more digital this year, but I hope everyone finds a way to celebrate the warmth, beauty, and blooming welcome of spring.
Explore Your Spring Traditions
Make Dandelion Fritters
Write a Cherry Blossom Haiku
Dye Eggs with Plants
Plant a Kitchen Window Garden
Happy Spring, everyone!
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1-2 cloves minced Fresh Roots garlic
3-4 Fresh Roots beets, with greens
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoons chopped drained capers
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk oil, vinegar and garlic in small bowl to blend. Season dressing generously with salt and pepper.
Cut green tops off beets; reserve tops. Arrange beets in single layer in a baking dish; add the water. Cover; bake until beets are tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Peel beets while warm. Cut beets in half and slice thinly. Transfer to large bowl. Mix in capers and 1/4 cup dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut stems off beet greens; discard stems. Wash greens. Transfer greens, with some water still clinging to leaves, to large pot. Stir over high heat until just wilted but still bright green, about 4 minutes. Drain greens; squeeze out excess moisture. Cool; chop coarsely.
Transfer greens to medium bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arrange beets in center of platter. Surround with greens; sprinkle with feta. Drizzle with any remaining dressing.
1 bunch Fresh Roots’ swiss chard
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
a pinch of sugar
Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.
Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften and turn translucent, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle sugar on the onions to help with the caramelization process and continue cooking (20 minutes).
Add chard stems and ribs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, cover, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding next batch, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.