The Preservation Kitchen

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Preserving the season is the most fun part of this food life, but my pantry is overflowing with jams, pickles, spices and sauces. If I’m not gifting these jars, I’m searching for recipes to use them up throughout the year. Tara’s found a beautiful book to help us all do just that. Now, pass that butter, please! -Maggie

As a home canner and a food swapper, my cabinets are often overflowing with tasty treats in jars. Canning is easy. The hard part is figuring out how to enjoy them all without resorting to having toast with jam at every meal.

Paul Virant is a Michelin-rated chef who is inspired by the pantry. At his restaurants Vie and Perennial Virant in Chicago, the dishes are about more than seasonal produce; they star his preserves. In The Preservation Kitchen, Virant first offers creative recipes for pickles, jams, and aigre-doux, a tangy French condiment. With ingredients broken down by weight, volume, and percentage, he makes it easy to scale the recipe to fit your needs.

While the preserves section is the soul of the book, the meals are the flair. Those cherry bomb peppers you pickled in July? Make biscuits and sausage gravy with them in October. Though you could certainly spread the Peach Saffron Jam on toast and enjoy every bite, you can bet it’s transcendent in the Vanilla Panna Cotta.

I whipped up the Maple-Black Walnut Butter, and then whisked it into a vinaigrette for some roasted sunchokes. It transformed a simple side dish into the main attraction, perfect for a dinner party.

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Roasted Sunchokes with Maple-Black Walnut Butter and Parsley

Serves: 4 cups

Ingredients:

For the Sunchokes
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 ½ pounds sunchokes, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup Maple-Black Walnut Butter (recipe follows), at room temperature
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 cups loosely packed flat leaf parsley
For the Maple-Black Walnut Butter
  • 1 ¾ cups maple syrup (567 grams, 55.5%)
  • About 4 cups black walnuts (454 grams, 44.5%)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

Making the Sunchokes
  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large ovenproof saute pan over medium-high heat. Scatter the sunchokes in the pan and sear until they start to caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the sunchokes are cooked through, but a little bit of crunch remains in the center, about 5 minutes. Swirl in the unsalted butter, season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flavored butter with buttermilk and vinegar. Whisk in the remaining ¼ cup oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the sunchokes. Sprinkle the parsley on top and toss to combine. Serve warm.
Making the Maple-Black Walnut Butter
  1. Pour the maple syrup into a wide, heavy-bottomed pot and cook over high heat until a candy thermometer reaches between 230ºF and 240ºF, or soft ball stage. Stir in the walnuts and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until the walnuts are coated with the syrup and look frosted, about 5 minutes. The maple syrup may appear crystallized at this point. Continue to cook until the crystals melt and the nuts begin to smell toasted, about 5 more minutes. Once the nuts are evenly toasted and the syrup has lost any crystallization, cool slightly and transfer to a food processor.
  2. Blend the preserve in a food processor until it forms a smooth paste. Be patient-- this will take a while. Cool and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
All photos styled and taken by Tara Bellucci.

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista–shop girl, writer, author, and creative business coach. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is working to open her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food–as well as coaching women in food to reach life and business goals. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: 100 Recipes to Encourage a Healthy Relationship with Food, Nourish Your Beautiful Body, and Celebrate Real Wellness for Life, will be published by Roost Books on February 5, 2019. 

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