• Being the web guy for Valley Flora has it's benefits. Each week brings cucumbers, radishes, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, squash and any number of odd but tasty items that pile up -- hey a geek can only eat so many vegetables between pizza and espresso!

     Oh I grill and salad to my hearts content but each Wednesday yet more produce comes and I'm still left over with whatever I didn't get around to gnoshing on the previous week. Fresh food is wonderful but what's worse is watching it slowly wilt into mush so I hit on a simple solution: Vinaigrette Slury

     I have a big covered stainless steel bowl in my fridge filled with vinegar, olive oil, chopped up garlic, some basil, cilantro, black pepper, a bit of marjoram, some jalapeno or crushed red pepper and Dijon mustard -- a classic vinaigrette but heavy on the vinegar (I use a combo of red wine and apple cider vinegar). As the Valley Flora Veg get a little on the squishy side I just chop them up and throw them in the bowl. Cucumbers, tomatoes & onions do especially good in this bath, but squashes, and even spinach will soak up the goodness for quite a while without turning to yuk.

     So whatever I'm making, I just grab out some of that pickled veg and add it. For fresh salads it's great as a bit of spice and vinegar, it's freaking awesome on hot bagels with creme cheese and even better as a crunch on a taco or as a side to a nice bit of lamb. Best part is, it doesn't go bad!


    So don't despair if your veg are going soft -- just open up a vinegar spa in your fridge and let them soak


    BTW: Lee's Bees Honey just went live with a bunch of Oregon honey just south at Cape Blanco so check out the new site.  Still working on it but I think it's going to be pretty cool.


    -Zachary the VF web geek


    • 3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped, plus 1 cup peeled, seeded, and finely diced cucumber
    • 1 cup plain yogurt
    • 2/3 cup sour cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon English-style dry mustard, or to taste
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
    • cucumber slices and mint sprigs for garnish

    In a blender puree chopped cucumbers, yogurt, sour cream, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a bowl. Chill soup at least 6 hours or overnight.
    Stir in finely diced cucumber and chopped mint and garnish soup with cucumber slices and mint sprigs.

    • 1/4 cup Sherry vinegar or rice vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
    • 3-4 cucumbers
    • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
    • 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste


    • Garnish: a 1- by 2-inch piece of toasted nori seaweed  from one 8- by 7 1/2-inch sheet (optional)

    Peel and seed cucumbers and diagonally cut into 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick slices. In a colander set over a bowl toss cucumbers with salt and drain 30 minutes. Rinse cucumbers well and pat dry.  Toss cucumbers with vinegar, soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste. With scissors cut nori lengthwise into thin strips.
    Serve salad garnished with nori strips.
    Adapted from epicurious.com

  • Makes 6 servings
    3 medium cucumbers
    4 riped tomatoes, cut in 1 inch chunks
    1/2 onion, diced
    1/4 cup white vinegar
    1/2 cup sugar
    salt and black pepper, to taste
    1.  Peel cucumber and quarter lengthwise.  Remove seeds.  Cut into chunks and place in serving bowl.
    2.  Add tomatoes and onion to bowl.
    3.  Whisk together vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolve.  Pour over vegetables.
    4.  Refrigerate 30 minutes; serve.

  • Makes 8 servings
    4 cups plain, unsweetened yogurt
    2 cups peeled, seeded and grated cucumber
    3/4 cup raisins
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 cup cold water
    salt and black pepper, to taste
    1 cup finely chopped walnuts
    2 tsp. minced fresh dill
    1.  Stir into yogurt the cucumber, raisins, garlic, and cold water.  Season with salt and pepper.
    2.  Refrigerate  1 hour.
    3.  Sprinkle top with walnuts and dill; serve.