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Bread and Butter Pickles
Makes 1 quart
1 cup apple-cider vinegar
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 garlic cloves (sliced paper thin)
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 star anise
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 whole cardamom
2 fresh bay leaves
7 pickling cucumbers (cut into 1/4-inch slices)
Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, garlic, and spices in a large pot. Add the sliced cucumbers. Set the pot over medium-low heat. Bring almost to a boil, but don’t allow it to boil. Remove the pot from the heat. Seal the pickles and liquid in sterilized jars for 10 minutes in a hot-water bath.
To sterilize the jars: Wash the jars well in hot, soapy water. Dry them off. Place the jars on a cookie sheet, right side up, and heat in an oven set at 225 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the jars in there until you need them.
Serves 4 as a side
2 squash, cut into long strips
2 zucchini, cut into long strips
1 small eggplant, cut into long strips
1 small red onion, sliced into rings
1 red bell pepper, seeded and inner membrane removed
2 medium tomatoes, halved
½ cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Extra-virgin olive oil to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the grill. When it’s too hot to hold your hand six inches above the grill for more than 5 seconds, it’s ready. Clean and season the hot grill with a grill brush, then with a rag coated with vegetable oil.
In a large mixing bowl, season the vegetables (not the herbs) with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Grill the vegetables until charred and tender, about 5 minutes for the tomato; 8 minutes for the squash, zucchini, and eggplant; 10 minutes for the pepper; and 15 minutes for the red onion. Remove the vegetables from the grill and cool. Cut the grilled vegetables into small, even pieces and combine them in a large pot. Place the pot over low heat. Add the chopped basil and oregano. Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste.
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