09 February 2009

The Gardener’s Community Cookbook

Smith & Hawken gathered a bunch of garden recipes together on a stack of 3 X 5 cards. The list began to grow as stacks of recipes often do and before long, they had a cookbook. Smith & Hawken: The Gardeners' Community Cookbook by Victoria Wise gathered recipes far and wide. Famous chefs and gardeners like Alice Waters, Thomas Keller and Barbara Damrosch added their recipes. It is fun to see what gardener's around the country do with a ton of zucchini!

Me, I lean toward the alcoholic. Limoncello is a fairly straight forward recipe. You need lemons, vodka, sugar and several months of very little work to produce a fine aperitif.

Limoncello de Malibu

6 large thick-skinned lemons, scrubbed
4 cups 100 proof vodka
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 2/3 cups spring or distilled water

1. peel the zest off the lemons with a vegetable peeler, reserving the rest of the fruit for another use. Place the zest in a 1 gallon jar or bottle fitted with a lid. Pour in the vodka and cap the jar. Set aside in a cool, dark place for at least 3 weeks, giving the jar a shake from time to time.

2. Combine the sugar and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer briskly for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, cool completely, and add to the jar with the vodka (see Note below). Recap the jar and again set aside in a cool dark place for at least one month or up to 6 weeks before using.

3. To serve, pour a small amount of the limoncello over ice and enjoy.

Note: You can remove the lemon zest or not before adding the sugar syrup to the vodka. With the zest left in, the limoncello will have more of a citrus bite.
I use a slightly different recipe. I put the lemon peel, vodka and sugar together in an infuser and shake. Why waste water? If you keep the peel in, your best bet is to use a jar with a spigot. An old sun tea jar will work. But if you plan to make limoncello or other infused liquor a habit I suggest you splurge on a nice glass infuser.

I get mine at Infused Vodka. They are very helpful and their jars are great! Another tip, just stick the finished limoncello in the freezer. Again, why waste all that water on ice.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin