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Archive | Condiments

Nurse Wendy’s Mouth-Watering Cucumber Vinaigrette


Makes 4 servings


2 large cucumbers, sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
1 teaspoon Vegeta all-purpose seasoning
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch ground red pepper
¼ cup chopped red onion


Start by placing cucumbers in a colander. Sprinkle with salt. Let sit for approximately 30 minutes to extract liquid.

Combine remaining ingredients and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add drained cucumbers and place in refrigerator for 2 hours. Dive in and savor your cukes! PS It’s okay to drink the vinaigrette. It’s that good.

NOTE: Vegeta is a specialty seasoning made from dehydrated vegetables, herbs, and spices. It can be purchased locally at Geiers sausage kitchen or online

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Honey Meyer Lemon Curd


Makes 1 pint

4 egg yolks
1/3 cup orange blossom honey
1/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
Zest of half a Meyer lemon
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Whisk together the yolks, honey, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens, about 5 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. If necessary, strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a bowl, to remove bits of egg.

Stir butter into the lemon mixture, one piece at a time, until it is smooth and creamy. Transfer the lemon curd to a clean jar or bowl, seal, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Serving Ideas: Serve lemon curd on top of toast, waffles, pancakes, or scones. It is also good dolloped on ice cream or stirred into oatmeal. Try lemon curd as a filling/topping for cakes, cupcakes, jelly rolls, and thumbprint cookies.

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Preserved Lemons


Makes 1-quart jar

Preserved lemons are simply lemons pickled in their own juices and salt, plus a few spices that perfectly complement the season. (The spices are optional.)

6–8 fresh lemons
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, if necessary
Sea salt
3 cloves
1 small cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf

Clean the lemons thoroughly to remove any dirt, then chop into quarters, lengthwise.

Cover the bottom of a sterilized Mason jar with 1 tablespoon salt and top with 4 lemon quarters, pressing them down as you pack them in to release as much juice as possible. Cover lemon slices with another tablespoon of salt. Repeat until the jar is full, finishing with a final tablespoon of salt. If using spices, tuck the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and cloves into the sides of the jar as you go. Make sure the top of the lemons are covered with lemon juice (add more juice if needed) before sealing the jar.

Seal the jar and store at room temperature for at least 4 weeks, shaking occasionally to distribute the salt. Once opened, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. To use, take a lemon from the jar and rinse it well to remove the salt. Discard seeds and pulp (if desired).

Serving Ideas: Preserved lemons can be used in place of lemon zest or lemon juice in recipes. Or, mince finely and add to couscous or yogurt; use in a homemade vinaigrette; mince with herbs and add to homemade butter; chop and add to soups and stews; mince and cook with butter and wine to make a lemony beurre blanc sauce for fish; chop and mix with olive oil and herbs to rub on chicken before roasting; slice and add to sautéed greens like kale, spinach, and chard; or roast veggies like asparagus, broccoli, and green beans with chopped preserved lemons.



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Hot Pepper Vinegar




6 ounces fresh hot peppers
1–2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup distilled white vinegar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)


Before you begin: Sterilize a one-pint glass canning jar and lid in boiling water for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let jar and lid sit in hot water until ready to fill. (Jar should be filled while still hot.)

Fill your sterilized jar with hot peppers and garlic. In a small pot over high heat, bring both vinegars and salt to a boil, stirring until salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in cayenne, and ladle mixture over peppers.

Seal jar with sterilized lid. Let pepper vinegar stand at room temperature at least 3 weeks to marry the flavors. Refrigerate after opening.


Summer is the time to grow and enjoy an abundance of hot peppers—any variety you like! I love the rainbow of hues you get with colorful Santa Fe Grandes and Chinese Five Color. Or spice things up with the classics: serrano, jalapeño, and habanero. For sweet peppers, the disease-resistant Carolina Wonder and heirloom Marconi bell peppers remain my go-to varieties.

When hot pepper production peaks, I go into production in the kitchen, bottling up a tangy-spicy hot pepper vinegar that is super simple to make. In case your Southern roots don’t run as deep as mine, here are a few ways you can use it: Drizzle it over cooked greens (like collards or mustard) and rice dishes; mix it into spicy cocktails, like a Bloody Mary; dash it onto eggs, pasta, fried fish, and roasted veggies; stir it into soup; or splash some on a salad!


Grow a wide variety of tomatoes and you’ll be seeing red (and orange, purple, pink, yellow, and green) all summer! My favorite varieties include large Cherokee Purples; clusters of Riesentraube grapes; pink, flavorful Arkansas Travelers; basic, red Amish Pastes (great for sauce); mild Yellow Pears (lovely in salad); intensely flavored Red and Golden Currants; and I’m crazy for wild Everglades tomatoes, which are native to Florida and produce in abundance all summer long.

In my summer kitchen, tomatoes are simmered into sauces, sliced onto sandwiches, scrambled into eggs, slow roasted on trays, chunked onto salads (or sometimes they are the salad), melted onto grilled fish, and, at least once a week, puréed into a cool, no-fuss gazpacho.


If you haven’t tasted homegrown beans lately, you don’t know what you’re missing (stop on by!). Fresh from the vine they are sweet and crisp, and when steamed they taste almost creamy. Pole beans, bush beans, and yardlong beans climb bamboo structures in both my front and back yards. Though we enjoy them mostly steamed or grilled, I also really love having a couple cans of dilly beans on hand to punch up a salad, or for an easy cold side dish or snack on a long, hot day.

The following recipe was contributed by the lovely Lisa at the Bradenton-based Sunshine Canning (

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African Blue Basil and Lavender Pesto


This pesto is made with nutrient-rich raw almonds instead of traditional pine nuts. Try toasting the almonds in a hot, dry pan over medium high heat for 3–4 minutes, until slightly browned and fragrant, for a toastier flavor.


2 cups fresh African blue basil leaves and flowers, coarsely chopped and lightly packed
½ cup raw, unsalted almonds
1⁄3 cup water
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1–2 teaspoons dried lavender buds
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese


Combine all ingredients, except cheese, in bowl of food processor. Process, adding additional oil or water, until desired consistency is reached. Stir in cheese. Use immediately or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. (Tip: pesto can also be frozen in ice cube trays.)

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Garlic Chive Compound Butter


While I have made homemade butter with local milk, and it is divine, sometimes you have to stifle the Type A tendencies and simplify. So for this compound butter— what you call butter with flavor or ingredients added to it—I simply softened a stick of unsalted, organic butter.


1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt


Combine butter and chopped chives by mashing together with a fork. Stir in sea salt. Using a spatula, transfer butter mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper. Wrap parchment around butter, forming it into a 6– to 8–inch long cylinder. Twist the ends to secure the contents, place in a plastic bag, and freeze until firm. Use as needed, or freeze for up to two months.

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Homemade Yogurt




1 gallon whole milk
¼ cup fresh plain yogurt (or yogurt culture)


In a large pot set over medium-low heat, gradually warm milk to 180˚, gently stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Meanwhile, prepare a warm water bath. Fill a Dutch oven or roasting pan one-third of the way up with water and warm over medium heat to 110˚. Set aside.

Remove milk from heat and allow to cool to 110˚. Gently whisk in yogurt (or yogurt culture) until no lumps remain. Transfer mixture to 1-quart mason jars and place in warm water bath. Cover jars loosely with a clean dishcloth and let rest undisturbed until set, 5—6 hours, maintaining yogurt temperature at 110˚. Place lids on jars and transfer to refrigerator to thicken, about 12—15 hours. Stir and enjoy.

NOTE: Lynch uses yogurt to culture the milk, but pre-measured, granulated yogurt culture can be found online.

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Raw Sprouted Hummus




1 cup sprouted garbanzo beans
¼ cup tahini
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh herbs (such as cilantro and parsley)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Follow instructions above to sprout the beans. Combine sprouted garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, herbs, and salt in a food processor. With motor running, add olive oil, processing until smooth. Garnish with paprika and a drizzle of olive oil.

Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth Sniegocki

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Peppery Nasturtium Vinegar




2 cups nasturtium blossoms, washed and dried
1 cup nasturtium leaves
¼ cup chopped chives
2 sprigs rosemary
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
4 cups white wine vinegar


Place flowers, leaves, chives, rosemary, and peppercorns in a jar; add vinegar. Cover with lid (if metal, put a sheet of plastic wrap in between the lid and jar). Steep for 2–3 weeks. Strain through cheesecloth into a bottle. Store in a cool, dark place.

NOTE: Add this peppery, flower- and herb-infused vinegar to stews and soups, or use it to make vinaigrette.

Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth Sniegocki

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Photo by Kathryn Brass

  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Combine strawberries, garlic, onion, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in blender and blend until smooth. With blender running, add oil in a steady stream. Turn off blender and whisk in poppy seeds until combined. Refrigerate for at least one hour prior to serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Makes 2 cups

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By Elizabeth Sniegocki


  • 2 ½ pints local strawberries
  • 2 medium local oranges
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 packet (1 ¾ ounces) powdered pectin
  • 7 cups organic cane sugar


Place pint jars in water to cover; boil for 10 minutes and keep in hot water. Place jar lids in small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and keep in hot water.

Wash and stem berries; cut in half, then mash. Measure 4 cups into large pot. Wash oranges; cut into chunks, discarding seeds, and chop finely in food processor. Add oranges, pectin, and lemon juice to berries. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to full boil; boil for 1 minute and remove from heat.

Remove jars from water and set on towel (return water to a boil). Use a clean spoon to skim foam off top of marmalade. Lade into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars clean with damp towel. Place lids on jars and adjust ring bands firmly. Return jars to boiling water; process for 5 minutes. Remove and set on towel to cool. Once cool, remove ring bands and wipe jars. Store in cool, dark place.

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tomato sauce

By Elizabeth Sniegocki


Heirloom tomatoes are grown from seeds that have been saved through the generations, giving them an old-fashioned flavor often lost in supermarket varieties. King Family Farm in Bradenton grows 25 varieties of heirloom tomatoes in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors. These nutritious, flavor-packed jewels are ideal for cooking up a gift-worthy, farm-fresh marinara sauce.


  • 3 pounds very ripe meaty heirloom tomatoes, peeled and seeded (seeds strained and juices reserved, about ¾ cup)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 small bunch basil, leaves removed from stems and torn in 1 inch pieces
  • ¾–1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar


Place peeled and seeded tomatoes in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped.

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and reserved tomato juice and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for approximately 45 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the tomatoes separate from the olive oil; stir occasionally. Add the basil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Continue to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until basil has wilted. Remove from heat. Refrigerate up to three days or freeze up to two months.


Give this gift in a glass carafe for a stylish package that can be used again. For homespun charm, wrap the carafe in fabric and hang a handmade label around the neck.

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This salsa is great with tortilla chips, but for a unique flavor treat, try it with cinnamon pita chips, or pour it over a block of cheese and serve with your favorite crackers. Try mixing it with fresh spinach for a unique salad.

2 pints ripe strawberries, washed and destemmed
6 ripe Roma/plum tomatoes, washed and quartered
½ small bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
½ large Spanish onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 habañero pepper, stem end removed (Make sure your habanero is firm and the seeds are white.)

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until mixed. Try one of the serving ideas above and enjoy!

Serves 12 Ounces

Courtesy of Barbie-Lu’s Salsa

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3 pounds Florida tangerines (unpeeled, washed, cut crosswise into thin slices, seeds discarded)
4 cups sugar

Place a small plate in the freezer. In a large pot, bring tangerines and 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook tangerines at a rapid simmer until peels are tender, about 20 minutes.

Add sugar, increase heat to medium-high, and stir until sugar dissolves. Return to a boil and cook, stirring often, until mixture is thick and darkens slightly, 40 to 45 minutes. To test for doneness, drop a spoonful on the frozen plate and freeze for 2 minutes (it’s done if it has a slight film that wrinkles when pushed with your finger; if it spreads out and thins immediately, continue cooking). Transfer marmalade to airtight containers, cover, and let cool completely.

Store marmalade in the refrigerator for up to 1 month, or freeze it for up to 6 months.

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