You all know that Marisa has published a new book, right? Preserving By The Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces, was published by Running Press last month. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy for review and I’ve been paging through it ever since.
There was still snow, and lots of it, on the ground when I got my copy. Paging through the “Spring” section, with a steaming cup of coffee and a warm woolen blanket, such gems as fava bean, walnut & parsley pesto, marinated sugar snap peas with ginger & mint and oven-roasted rhubarb compote had me drooling and craving the first buds of Spring. A month later, and the promise of warmer weather to come has me dreaming of nectarine jam with lemon verbena & honey, black plum chutney and salt-preserved herbs.
There’s so much to love about this book: not only is it the same great quality that you’ve come to expect from Marisa’s first book, the seminal Food In Jars, with fabulous photography, clean and easy-to-navigate recipe layouts, and a great use of color and pattern, but the small-batch format seems to open us up to more adventurous flavor combinations and exotic ingredients, all while staying true to a local-seasonal ethic. Dare I say, the more I look through Preserving By The Pint, the more I think I might like this one even more than Food In Jars: strong praise indeed!.
Despite my Spring & Summer seasonal lust, the produce in New York in April still carries a distinctly wintery air: ramps are here (finally!) and perhaps some scallions and the first cold-hearty greens, but little else that we haven’t seen all winter long. There are still storage onions of all kinds, however, and the shallots at today’s farmer’s market still looked great. Caramelized shallot jam it is!
I made no real changes to Marisa’s recipe, other than to let my shallots caramelize a bit more slowly (because I’m lazy, and I don’t want to have to stand over them and stir, I keep them on super-low heat and only stir once every 10 – 15 minutes) and to add an extra half-tablespoon of sugar at the end, as my balsamic was a bit sharp. Tai & I have been devouring it for the last two hours, smeared on Wave Hill bread and topped with Nettle Meadown Kunik, a lovely triple crème goat brie whose mellow funk goes perfectly with the sweet-tangy gloriously flavorful shallot jam.
Running Press has been kind enough to offer up one copy of Preserving By The Pint as a giveaway to a Local Kitchen reader. Simply leave a comment below by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, April 30th, telling me what small-batch canning experiment you’d like to try this season. And, if you don’t win the giveaway, all I can say is: buy the book. You won’t regret it. Good luck and happy canning!
Congratulations to Michele, lucky commenter # 82, for winning the copy of Preserving By The Pint! Michele, Running Press will get your copy out to you soon! Thanks to everyone for sharing their small-batch canning dreams with us. If you didn’t win, I hope you’ll consider checking out PbtP: it’s a worthy addition to any home-canner’s library.
Disclosure: Running Press provided a free review copy to me and will send a giveaway copy to a reader. This would not inspire me to write a positive review if I did not like the book, but as Marisa is a personal friend, even if her book was crap I’d probably lie and find something nice to say. Luckily for me (and you), I don’t have to lie: the book is fabulous in every way. Peace out.
- 1 lb shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp fine-grained sea salt
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar (I use raw)
- 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ⅔ cup balsamic vinegar
- In a large skillet, melt butter over low heat. Add sliced shallots; stir to coat. Sprinkle salt and sugar: stir again to mix. Sauté over lowest heat, stirring occasionally, until deeply browned and volume is reduced by at least half, about 60 – 90 minutes. Add a splash of water during cooking if shallots begin to stick.
- Add rosemary, pepper and vinegar. Raise heat to medium-high and sauté, stirring constantly, until vinegar is reduced and shallots do not look at all watery. Store refrigerated in a clean jar.
Yields about 1 pint.
- I caramelized my shallots very slowly, for a minimum of stirring during the process. You can speed things up by raising the heat a bit and stirring more diligently: if so, you should be able to reduce & brown the shallots in about 35 – 40 minutes, as stated in Marisa’s original recipe.
Refrigerated for up to 1 month. Frozen for up to 6 months.