Yes, indeedy! Alliums. According to Webster’s: any of a large genus (Allium) of bulbous herbs of the lily family including the onion, garlic, chive, leek, and shallot. Another low-acid food was assigned to us for this month’s Tigress’ Can Jam. But I love every member of this family, so I was pretty excited. And had absolutely no idea what I was going to do.
And then I went to the local farmers’ market and found
Colorful local spring onions, green garlic, and its big brothers! Who knew you could grow garlic in South Florida? In the same trip, I also scored some incredible balsamic vinegar and fig balsamic. Now what?
I read a lot of recipes, got my proportions straight, and created:
Pickled Onions & Green Garlic al Balsamico
You know I made that up, right?
6 spring onions + 4 green garlics, washed well & sliced thinly (white & light green parts only)
(totaling about 5 cups)
1 cup red wine (I used a Montepulciano)
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
Put the onions and green garlic in a 4 quart saucepan with the red wine, water and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower to a simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables soften slightly. Add the balsamic vinegar and return to a simmer for another 5 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare 2 pint jars and their lids for boiling water canning and get your canning pot up to a boil.
Divide the hot, cooked vegetables between the two prepared jars and fill with the hot balsamic/wine liquid, leaving 1/2 inch head space. You might have some liquid left over.
Clean the rims of the jars with a wet cloth or paper towel, put lids on the jars, finger-tighten the lid rings and process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to sit in the hot water for another 5 minutes before removing the jars to cool.
Allow to sit for at least a week before eating, and of course, refrigerate after opening.
I made 2 batches of this – one with the regular aged balsamic vinegar, and the other with the fig balsamic. We served the fig balsamic version with other pickled vegetables (including last month’s Baby Carrots in Honey, Vinegar & Dill) as part of the antipasto at my mother’s birthday party, last weekend, and it was simply delish with my homemade Italian bread & parmesan breadsticks. It goes well as a pickle side dish for chicken, too.
The pickling liquid was so good, I drizzled some of it over the Mini-Caprese Picks I made for the party, instead of the balsamic dressing I usually use. The crowd went wild (insert roaring stadium noise in the background, here)!
For the Mini-Caprese Picks, just skewer a grape tomato, a folded basil leaf and a cherry-sized mozzarella ball onto plastic party picks or even wooden toothpicks (which I did when I ran out of the plastic ones!). Much easier to handle in a party situation than the traditional caprese salad. Not to mention adorable!
Oh, and the tops of the green garlic? They’re perfectly edible and pack a pretty good garlic punch, too. For breakfast one morning, I quartered some leftover boiled new red potatoes, and rough chopped a medium onion and sauteed them in a large pan with a little olive oil, stirred in 4 beaten eggs and then about 3 tablespoons of the chopped green tops of the green garlic. Really tasty “Farmer’s Scramble”!
This one was fun and I can’t wait to see what everyone else in “The Jam” cooked up!