[image: jars of tomolives and curry eggplant relish]
[image: jars of tomolives and curry eggplant relish]

More pickles! These two jars I prepared for my friend Lydia, owner of the blog Truffle Wants Snacks. The larger jar on the left contains Tomolives, which are apparently a Southern thing. I made them with green Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes and darkened-a-bit-but-still-not-totally-ripe Indigo Rose tomatoes from my garden. Clearly I picked these a while ago—back in November after the frosts became unbearable for my plants. I was trying to find pickle recipes for green tomatoes, and came across a couple promising posts.

This line, from Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen immediately jumped out at me:

Tomolives are just wonderful in a martini, served as a casual appetizer, skewered with sharp cheese, or plucked from the jar while you stare into the depths of the refrigerator wondering what to have for lunch.

Martinis, appetizers, cheese. Check, check, check. These are some of the many fine qualities that Lydia brings to a friendship.

(The curry eggplant relish recipe will be coming in a few days!)

1 quart unripe small or cherry tomatoes
1 1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbsp white granulated sugar
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 Tbsp black peppercorns
2 Tbsp mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
2 small red chili peppers (SUPER CHILIS!)

With a toothpick, skewer, or knife, poke holes in each tomato (I used a toothpick and poked them from the stem end down to the opposite end). Place the chilis, bay leaves, coriander seeds, peppercorns, and mustard seeds in the bottom of a 1-quart jar. Pack the tomatoes in on top.

Boil the water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic cloves together for 5 minutes. Carefully pour into the jar. Refrigerate for a week before eating.

(I don’t actually pickle in the jars, I use cleaned 32-oz yogurt containers and then transfer them into the nicer jars when it comes time for presentation. Allows me to make sure all the good stuff is on top. If you do this, during the initial pickling give them a stir every so often to make sure everything get submerged equally.)


This is a fairly simple recipe—you could jazz it up with paprika, sriracha, roasted red bell peppers, etc. But it’s pretty good on its own with a bunch of veggies or pretzel sticks to dip!

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tahini (or make your own, see below)
2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1/8-1/4 tsp ground cumin
2-4 Tbsp olive oil

Optional step for ultra smooth hummus: remove skins from garbanzo beans.

In a blender (or food processor, but I find a blender makes for a smoother product), combine the garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and cumin. Pulse to combine roughly. Turn machine on low speed and slowly drizzle in the oil. Increase speed and run until the hummus is smooth in consistency. Check seasoning, then refrigerate for an hour to let the flavors meld.

rounded 1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Toast sesame seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat. Let cool, then empty into a coffee grinder. Pulse 10 or so times to reduce the seeds to a paste. Empty into a bowl and add the oils and salt. Mix to combine.

Note: clean the coffee grinder by grinding some uncooked rice to a powder, discarding said powder, and then wiping it out with a damp paper towel.

the hussy’s mini twice-baked potatoes

1.5 pounds small red potatoes (9-12)
3 slices bacon, diced
3/4 cup shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp buttermilk
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook potatoes in boiling water 15-20 minutes or until tender; drain.

Brown bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and bacon; turn heat down to medium and saute for five minutes or until softened.

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut potatoes in half; carefully scoop out pulp, leaving a quarter-inch shell. Add the butter, sour cream, and buttermilk to the potato pulp and mash with a fork; stir in cheese. Add to onion mixture, stirring well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put about one tablespoon potato mixture into each shell. Arrange stuffed potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes. At the end of baking, turn on the broiler and let the tops brown and puff up a bit, 3 to 4 minutes.

Parmesan Potato Bites

12 small round red potatoes (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup or 2-3 slices uncooked, diced turkey bacon (I used real bacon)
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup (2 oz) grated fresh parmesan cheese
1 tsp rubbed sage (I didn’t have this)

Cook potatoes in boiling water 15 minutes or until tender; drain.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bacon, pepper, and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender.Preheat broiler.

Cut potatoes in half; carefully scoop out pulp, leaving a quarter-inch shell (this was hard). Mash potato pulp with a fork; stir in cheese and sage. Add to onion mixture, stirring well. Spoon about one tablespoon potato mixture into each shell. Arrange stuffed potatoes on a baking sheet and broil 3 to 4 inches from heat 3 minutes or until lightly browned.