In an attempt to survive the vegetable onslaught, we borrowed a dehydrator and spent some time yesterday drying tomatoes and squash.
I also desalted a bunch of brine pickled vegetables and packed them in a 4-to-1 water/vinegar solution and put them in the fridge, where they will keep for a few months without heat processing (which would have killed all of the beneficial bacteria from the brining).
Because we were already in a frenzy of food preservation, we figured it wouldn't hurt to add one more food project to the kitchen mix, so we told Alan he could come by to make pesto out of the huge quantity of purslane he, LJ, and I gathered last week while we were up in Pennsylvania.
Purslane is a common weed which is quite tasty and contains alpha-linolenic acid, one of the famous Omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients. There's a little bit volunteering in various spots around our garden, but we came across the motherlode last week as we were passing through Haverford, PA. We gathered a ton and brought it home to turn into pesto.
Above are the squash and tomatoes on their way to the dehydrator, and below is Alan making purslane pesto. We ended up with a little more than 1/2 gallon of pesto, made with nothing but purslane and olive oil. We can add nuts and/or cheese later if we want, but the flavor is so good and tart and juicy as it is that I hate to change it at all!
Above: Alan making purslane pesto...you can see the jars of brine-pickled squash, cucumbers, and cauliflower at the left of the photo, too.
Below: triumphant end-of-the-day photo of the same table pictured in yesterday's blog, much emptier after a day of preserving. Alan, Christopher, and I feasted last night on fresh veggies, including a
very tasty Italian edible gourd and some of the aforementioned pesto, around a candlelit centerpiece of the remaining tomatoes...