Fresh Garden Pickles with Aioli

Total Time:
5 hr 45 min
Prep:
35 min
Inactive:
5 hr
Cook:
10 min

Yield:
6 to 8 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 medium cucumber, cut into 16 spears
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 16 asparagus spears
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and halved
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 16 slices
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 16 slices
  • 2 tablespoons pressed or finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • Aioli, recipe follows
Directions
  • In a mixing bowl, toss the cucumbers with salt to coat, then cover with ice cubes and refrigerate. After 1 to 2 hours, drain, rinse thoroughly, and strain to remove excess water. Set aside.

  • In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus, carrots, peppers, onions, and garlic and saute for 3 minutes or until the vegetables are just beginning to soften. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, oregano, thyme, and peppercorns and gently toss to combine.

  • Return the saute pan to medium heat, and add the vinegars, sugar, fennel seeds, and bay leaves. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Pour the syrup over the vegetable mixture and toss to coat. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. These pickles are best a few days after they have been made, but can be eaten after chilling just a few hours.

Aioli:
  • In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk for 10 minutes. Squeeze the bread and break into small pieces.

  • In another small bowl, beat together the yolks, salt, and garlic. Add the soaked bread and mix until incorporated.

  • While beating the yolk mixture, slowly drizzle in the oil until a thick sauce is formed. Beat in the lemon juice and water. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • Yield: about 1 1/2 cups


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