Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry and a Killer Salmon Recipe

November 5, 2014

Cathy Barrow is a food preserving expert and shares her wealth of knowledge in her newest cookbook Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving.   This modern guide to pickling and preserving teaches the home cook how to curate a pantry that fits with their lifestyle and taste.  A well stocked pantry filled with canned fruits and vegetables, jams, stocks, soups, and more can be transformed into a plethora of dishes that satisfy all year long.  Barrow emphasizes that the farmer's market is not only a place to think about dinner for a week but rather dinners for a whole year.  She wants cooks to consider the future, especially in the winter months when options are limited.  Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry covers essential canning and preserving techniques as well as recipes on how to use your homemade goods.  You will find satisfaction in looking at your pantry and seeing jars of dill pickles, apricot preserves, cranberry raspberry sauce, and canned salmon.

Salmon and Grain Salad with Red Onion Quickles
Serves 4
Active Time: 30 minutes

When lunch rolls around, particularly when the garden is coming back to life in spring, I want nothing more than crunchy food. Lots of crunch. And plenty of tang. This salad gives me every- thing I want, with the extra boost of protein-rich grains and the luxury of my home-canned fish. More than anything, this healthy salad has a delightful counterpoint of texture and flavor.

1⁄2 red onion, sliced into slim half-moons
1⁄2 cup (4 oz., 110 g) white wine vinegar
1⁄2 cup (4 oz., 110 g) nonchlorinated water
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon pickling spice, homemade or store-bought
1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 ounces (225 g) green beans
3 cups cooked grains (rice, quinoa, farro, couscous, or any combination of whole grains), warm or at room temperature
6 radishes, thinly sliced
1 half-pint jar pressure- canned salmon or tuna, drained
1⁄2 cup (4 oz., 235 ml) olive oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the onion slices in a small glass or ceramic bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, salt, pickling spice, and red pepper to a simmer. Pour the brine over the onion slices and set aside for 20 minutes.

Trim the beans, leaving the little tails but removing the stem ends. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil Add the green beans and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain.

Fluff up the cooked grains on a beautiful platter. Scatter the green beans over the grains. Drain the pickled onions, reserving the brine. Sprinkle half the pickled onions over the salad. (Save the other half for tacos, sandwiches, omelets—oh, just about any- thing.) Top the salad with the radishes and fish.

Whisk together 1/4 cup of the reserved pickling brine and the olive oil (or shake in a covered jar) until emulsified. Taste and season with salt, if necessary, and pepper.

Drizzle the salad with the dressing, add the mayonnaise, if using, and serve.

VARIATION: Substitute other seasonal vegetables for the green beans. Try asparagus, zucchini, or diced butternut squash.

Reprinted from Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving by Cathy Barrow. Copyright © 2014 by Cathy Barrow. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

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