Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cooking with Mollie #18: Ricotta-filled Portobello Mushrooms

A vegetarian is always looking for hearty, filling entrees. One can only eat so many veggie burgers, so sooner or later, mushrooms come into play.

This recipe for Ricotta Stuffed Portobellos is, of course, from Mollie Katzen's great cookbook "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without."

This dish does take a bit of cooking time, but the actual prep is quick and easy. First, you clean a big portobello mushroom cap, remove the stem and scrape out the gills with a spoon.


The denuded cap looks like this:

You start sauteeing the mushroom caps while you prep the filling. It takes about 10 minutes on each side, depending on how big your mushrooms are.

A really great ricotta is a beautiful thing. I get Angelo and Franco brand from Fresh & Easy and it is so soft and fluffy that it is like the breath of baby angels.

The filling is just ricotta, garlic, salt and pepper. I think it might be nice with some herbs thrown in, too, or maybe a dash of ground Aleppo peppers for spiciness.

The filling goes in the mushrooms, gets topped with a slice of ripe tomato (I used yellow, which is kind of pretty) and sprinkled with parmesan and thyme.


A few minutes under the broiler and voila - you have the richness of the portobello on the bottom and the delicate filling on top. A nice, satisfying entree - and much more impressive than a veggie burger.


Bon appetit!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cooking With Mollie #18: Asparagus with Pomegranate Lime Glaze

Happy Springtime! Spring, and the asparagus has sprung. My Farmer's Market has all different kinds, ranging from the thin, grassy little whips to the big super-chubby spears. I love them all, but my preference is for the big fatties.

This recipe for Asparagus with Pomegranate Lime Glaze has just a few ingredients (recipe at link).

One, pomegranate molasses, might be a bit hard to find. A Middle Eastern market is the best bet. I visited our local family-owned supermarket, which happens to be owned by Middle Easterners and stocks lots of items commonly used there - fava beans, za'atar, sheep milk feta - all kinds of loveliness.


Roasting asparagus might seem odd, but you MUST try it if you haven't already. It intensifies the flavor of the asparagus while preserving the sweetness. It is my favorite way to eat one of my favorite vegetables.

The glaze comes together quickly - pomegranate molasses, lime juice, heat. The hardest part is squeezing the limes, and a good citrus reamer makes short work of that.


Then you just drizzle the glaze on the spears, sprinkle with good salt, and voila. A real treat. I don't think asparagus needs much flavoring, but this is a nice surprise.

You could use the glaze for many, many things. I even added some to sparkling water to make a little soda. It was good!

Suebob says thumbs up. Bon appetit.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cooking With Mollie #17: Very Green Rice

This recipe sounded like so much fun. Very! Green! Rice!

You can find the recipe on Cook the Book right here. They seemed to like it.

Me? Not so much.

My issues were:
1. It calls for brown basmati rice, which is a little dry to me. If I tried this again, I would use the deliciously plump little short grain brown rice.
2. I had to buy 4 different herbs at a cost of $6 - and I didn't have a lot I wanted to do with the remainders of giant bunches of mint, parsley, watercress and cilantro. I should have planned better.
3. The herbs gave the rice a weird, squeaky texture. Texture is really almost as important as taste, isn't it? And squeaky rice is not a good texture.

Here's the procedure, should you care to give it a swing - you wash a bunch of herbs and scallions:

Pulverize them in the food processor:

Saute them up with some garlic:

And mix them with cooked rice:
Very green rice

Voila. Bon appetit. Try at your own risk. Hey, they can't all be winners.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cooking With Mollie #16: Fennel with Oranges and Beets

Fennel, Orange and Beet Salad

Oh what a beautiful salad! Mollie takes us into a world bursting with color and flavor with her recipe for Fennel, Orange and Beet Salad. (Recipe at link).

I first encountered fennel when my housemate John returned from a college year in Florence, studying architecture and getting fancy ideas about food. I was intrigued by the licorice flavor of fennel, which he served plain in slices with a little good olive oil and salt.

I have to warn you: if you don't like licorice flavors, and many people don't, give this recipe a skip.

It's easy: paper thin fennel slices, sliced beets and oranges in a simple raspberry vinaigrette.


I thought it would be pretty to use pink and white beets (Chiogga variety) and the almost pink Cara Cara orange, which is quite sweet. This would also be gorgeous with purple beets and regular oranges.

Mollie says to section the oranges, which I believe is a fool's errand. As that viral video says, "Ain't nobody got time for that."

I simply peeled the oranges like I peel most fruit - cut off the top and bottom, then run my knife down the sides between the peel and fruit.


I tried sectioning for about 5 minutes, then got bored and just cut the oranges in half, took out the pithy middle core, then sliced them into half-rounds. Quick and easy.

All the orange sections I made before I grew tired of it.

It does need a couple hours to marinate, so leave time for that. The appearance is jazzed up by a last-minute sprinkle of fennel fronds. The tiny baby ones are especially nice for that.

Bon appetit!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cooking With Mollie #15: Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts


Look, Ma, more Brussels Sprouts! You'd think I'd get sick of them. Nope. I never do. I really do eat them almost every day during the season, and I'm sorry to see the season go.

Yes, I'm a freak.

Fortunately Mollie Katzen has given me a bunch of new, delicious recipes from her book - "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without."

Once again, the recipe is online at Culinate.

The process is easy. Peel the ugly leaves off the outside of about a pound of sprouts, and cut them in half if they are big, in quarters if they are giant. But try not to buy giant sprouts - the bigger they get, the more tough and bitter they are.

Saute a little minced onion in a large frying pan (I used my faux-wok), then add the sprouts and saute for 5 minutes.

Add 4 Tbsp water, put the lid on and saute until the sprouts start to get tender, another 5-8 minutes. Stab one with a knife and you can feel whether it has gotten softer (but still a little firm).

Meanwhile, mix up 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard and 2 Tbsp of real maple syrup (don't go for the fake stuff. Please, don't) and some pepper into a smooth emulsion.

I made a mistake at that point, thinking somehow that 2 Tbsp was the same as 1/4 cup. It's not - 1/4 cup is 4 Tbsp, so I accidentally doubled the maple syrup. It was still pretty tasty, though a little sweet. But I'm an American. We LOVE our sugar.


Pour this over the sprouts and cook just til heated through.

I used less than one pound of sprouts, so mine was kind of saucy. I think with 1 lb, it would make the perfect amount of sauce.

You can serve this hot, warm or cold. It will please any sprout lover. It is zippy and a little sweet. I'll never lose my love for roasted Brussels Sprouts, but this is a refreshing change of pace. It would be a nice side dish with ham, I'll bet.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cooking With Mollie #14: Coconut Ginger Carrot Gratin

Coconut Ginger Carrot Gratin is something I would never have thought of on my own. Carrots, yes, ginger yes, but coconut? The only other time I have encountered this combination is in Morning Glory muffins (carrot, pineapple, coconut and raisin) and my imagination wouldn't have stretched that mix to a vegetable side dish.

But Mollie Katzen does it in the book I'm cooking my way through - "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without."

It starts with a saute of sliced fresh carrots, onions, garlic, salt and fresh ginger.

Toward the end of the cooking, you add diced crystallized ginger and lemon juice. The mixture is spread in a baking dish, baked for 20 minutes, and taken out of the oven.

The top is sprinkled with shredded coconut, and baked until the coconut gets a little brown. Voila.

I was afraid when I made it, because so many coconut things are vile to me. I remember trying one coconut shrimp after hearing about how great they were. I was appalled to find this giant hairy looking shrimp on my plate, tasting for all the world like a macaroon with a shrimp jammed inside. Yuck.

This is tasty, though. The carrots are quite strongly flavored, and, as Mollie says, reminiscent of the Caribbean. It might make a nice side dish for fish.

Bon Appetit.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Cooking With Mollie #13: Parmesan Nut Crusted Portobello Fritters

photo (5)

Most of the recipes I have made so far from Mollie Katzen's "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without" have been vegan or practically vegan. This is the first one where I have had to bust out the eggs that have been languishing unloved in my fridge for a few weeks.

That isn't unusual. I use maybe 6 eggs every 6 months. I don't bake a lot and I like eggs better if someone else cooks them for me, usually into a tasty breakfast burrito.

This recipe is super simple, especially if you get some almond meal, which is, thanks to our wacky Paleo diet friends, increasingly easy to find. (Paleo friends, I jest. And admire your muscle tone).

Slice some big portobello mushroom caps in 1/2 inch slices. One big mushroom per person is more than enough.

For four mushrooms, mix 1 cup of almond meal and 1/2 cup of grated parmesan together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Just a guess, but you might want to throw in some garlic salt or fresh herbs, too. Mix it up and put it on a flat plate.

Beat some eggs - 3-4 eggs does it for 4 mushrooms. Put them in a flat dish like a pie plate.

Dip the flat edges of the mushrooms in the egg, then press into the nut mixture. Fry them for 5 minutes a side on a well-oiled skillet over medium heat until they are lovely and browned. Remove to a wire rack.

photo (3)
Good golly, Miss Mollie, they are tasty!

You can serve these hot, warm or room temp. I put a few drops of spicy vinegar on mine. Mollie suggests mayo and/or capers, but I bet a really garlicky aioli might be good, too.

Bon appetit!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Cooking with Mollie #12: Wasabi Peas

Wasabi Peas
Wasabi Peas

I'm making progress getting through Mollie Katzen's magical vegetable book, "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without." This is recipe 12, so I figure I'm about 1/10 of the way through. It has been a tasty, delightful, palate-enlightening pleasure so far (mostly).

The recipe is for Wasabi Peas. No, not the crunchy kind in the can, though I love those, too. I especially love when you get a can where the wasabi is very unevenly distributed, so you eat them and 9 peas are mildly spicy and the tenth is OH MY GOD MY BRAIN IS ON FIRE WOW MY SINUSES, WAIT, IS THAT JESUS?

That's fun.

But I have to admit I've never been much on regular peas. I grew up on mushy, canned, grey-green peas, or overcooked frozen peas, so as a kid, I couldn't imagine anything worse. As an adult, I just tend to forget they exist. Too many other vegetables.

The hardest part about this recipe is finding fresh peas. Mine came from Guatemala (well, actually from Trader Joe's, but they started out in Guatemala). Mollie says you can use frozen. I say "No, thank you."

Then it's pretty simple. One might even be tempted to say easy PEAsy, if one had a sick, punny sense of humor. Ahem.

Saute some onions. I used shallots - I'm a rebel. And I had some shallots that were about to go bad. Meanwhile, make a sauce of wasabi paste, olive oil, and water. Mix with the peas. Put the whole mess in with the shallots and cook. That's it. Oh, and let it sit 15 minutes before serving.

Did I like it? Not at first, but then again, I didn't wait 15 minutes. It really did help the flavors to combine. I don't think I used enough wasabi paste, and I think the stuff I bought was a little old. I got it at an Asian market that is really more a liquor store with some Asian stuff. So it was a little funky to me.

I'd like to try it again, either with real fresh Wasabi (which is rare and about $40 per pound when you can find it) or at least fresher wasabi paste.

But yeah, it's a nice way to zip up peas. I ate it cold at lunch, and I can't say that was bad, either. Thumbs up! Bon appetit.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Cooking with Mollie #11: Pear, Avocado and Beet Carpaccio


Ok, I messed this recipe from Mollie Katzen's "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without" up bad. I was one of those nightmare people who doesn't follow instructions, leaves out ingredients, changes the preparation method, then leaves a comment saying "I used kidney beans instead of shrimp and it just wasn't very good."

The difference here is that the recipe still turned out very good, despite me doing my worst to mess it up.

The original recipe, found here on, complete with a nice photo, is for a layered salad.

The base layer is arugula, with thinly sliced beets, pear and avocado all arranged on top, sprinkled with gorgonzola and some optional garnishes.

I decided it needed to be more of a tian, something with the ingredients pressed in close proximity, so the pear could absorb some pink beet juice and it could look all exotic and colorful.

I layered the ingredients in a small plastic container, pressing on them as I went.

I didn't have gorgonzola or blue cheese, so I used cotija. I also forgot to put any walnuts in.

And then I turned the whole pile out onto a plate, arugula-less, but slippery and, yes, quite delicious:

The flavors were magnificent together - delicate, interesting, and distinct. I think the cotija was a good call, because it was salty, but otherwise mild-flavored. Gorgonzola might have been a bit much.

If I hadn't been so hungry, I would have let it sit an hour or two to get all colorized, but I didn't. I just ate it up.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Cooking with Mollie #10: Pea Shoots with Garlic


I took a couple days off. Of writing, not of cooking. So here I am, back to share my latest discoveries from Mollie Katzen's "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without."

Pea Shoots with Garlic is a pretty simple recipe. It is, in fact, exactly what it sounds like. Pea Shoots sauteed with garlic.

The problem arises in the Pea Shoots part. Unless you have an Asian market, a Farmer's Market with at least one grower of Asian specialties, or your own pea vines, you'll probably have trouble finding the key ingredient.

Even here, where we do have an Asian specialties grower (lemongrass! Thai basil! Daikon!) pea shoots have a brief season, so when they appeared, I sprung into action.

Wash the pea shoots and remove any big stems. Dry them. I use a salad spinner:

Mince some garlic, heat some oil (Mollie recommends roasted peanut oil, which I did not have, so I used olive oil), throw in the shoots and the garlic, and toss about. Saute five minutes, more or less.




They have a delicate, slightly sweet flavor and make a nice change from sharper-flavored greens like mustard, heartier ones like kale, or chard, which always tastes a little muddy to me. These are fresh and the very essence of spring.

Enjoy your bowl of greens. I ate mine with my fingers.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cooking With Mollie #9: Crispy Sage Leaves


Today's recipe from Mollie Katzen's "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without" is technically for a garnish, but you could also use these as a little snack. I know I did!

They are just what they sound like. Fresh leaves of sage, washed, dried, and fried quickly in a little olive oil.


I think I used more oil than Mollie suggested - I didn't measure - so my leaves basically deep-fried in a very shallow way in a frying pan. I'm not very coordinated, so I just did a couple at a time, because they fry VERRRRY quickly - within just 5-10 seconds per side.

The only tricky part is adjusting the heat so the oil isn't too cold (greasy results) or too hot (burned leaves). Once you get it right in the middle, all you do is pop the leaves in on one side (start with the light-colored side up) for a few seconds, then flip over to finish (they're done when they're a nice bright green).

Once you remove them from the oil, they drain on paper towels, and then you have crispy, sagey things to pop in your mouth and enjoy. You could also use them as a garnish, if you can wait that long.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Cooking With Mollie #8: Beets with Tart Pink Grapefruit Glaze


I have to admit when I saw Mollie Katzen's recipe for Beets with a Tart Pink Grapefruit Glaze, my heart sank a bit. (The recipe in "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without" is just for beets - the one online is for beets and carrots.)


When I was a kid, my mom made a monstrosity called "Harvard Beets." Hot beets coated in a thick, sweet, orange goo, and this sounded all too similar.

I think she either liked it because my mom has the culinary equivalent of a tin ear, or because she thought she was classing up the joint by serving us something from Harvard. Maybe both.

Mollie's is a better version, though. The Pink Grapefruit gives it a nice zinginess and the small amount of maple syrup leaves it far less sweet than our 1960s Americana version.


You can consult Mollie's recipe online, but here are my notes:

  • One large grapefruit yielded exactly one cup of juice
  • You don't have to roast the beets - I steamed mine and they were fine, though roasted beets are terribly good
  • This is pretty good. A nice zippy flavor. I still like plain beets better, but I'm a beet lover from way back. This recipe may appeal to some people who want to mask the flavor of beets somewhat
  • I'll bet this would be gorgeous with Chiogga beets, the ones that are pink and white striped.

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

    Cooking with Mollie #7 - Crispy-Edged Brussels Sprouts


    This is more of a vindication than an exploration. I checked Mollie Katzen's roasted brussels sprouts recipe in her fabulous "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without" cookbook and guess what? Her recipe is exactly the same as the recipe I discovered by trial and error! I am so proud of myself.

    You'd think everyone would know how to make roasted brussels sprouts by now, but apparently it is still an unknown for some. Easy peasy.

    Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Peel off the ugly outside leaves of the brussels sprouts, and if they are bigger than 3/4 inch, cut them in half. Roll them around in a little olive oil on a baking sheet, then, if they are cut, put them face down.

    Bake for about 10 minutes, then flip them over or roll them around. Bake until they are a little browned and crispy, another 5-20 minutes depending on how brown and crispy you like them. I have forgotten and practically incinerated them, and I still loved the flavor, maybe even more. Mine are pretty dark here:


    Now here's the fun part, for me. Of course you should sprinkle them with some grey French sea salt, the kind that sticks together in tiny flaky clumps. And maybe some fresh-ground black pepper.

    But what else can you do to make them special?
    • A sprinkle of rich balsamic vinegar is great, even fig-flavored Vincotto balsamic.
    • A teaspoon or two of briny capers can add a nice salty punch. Paired with a splash of sherry vinegar - oh my yum.
    • A blob of goat cheese to melt and mix in right after they come out of the oven. I use jalapeno goat cheese
    • A sprinkle of shaved parmesan, the big flaky kind, not the grated kind
      Go wild. They're YOUR sprouts, after all. Enjoy.

      Saturday, February 23, 2013

      Cooking With Mollie #6: Coated Carrots Afrique du Nord

      I had to step out of the cruciferous vegetables family briefly to deal with carrots. I had a lot of carrots in the fridge, so I decided to make this recipe from Mollie Katzen's "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without."

      Coated Carrots Afrique du Nord (recipe online at Leite's Culinaria) Untitled

      It involves several techniques: first, you toast cumin seeds in a frying pan, then add ground cumin and cinnamon and toast them too. A blob of butter goes in, then garlic, then carrots cut diagonally into 1/4 slices.

      You add some orange juice and salt and saute for a bit. This, to me, gave the carrots an unnervingly nasty scent. Don't worry - they don't taste like this smells.

      The carrots get spread on a baking tray in a single layer. Untitled Sorry, bad iphone photos.

      Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Take them out and let them cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice and your choice of garnishes - a bit of honey, finely chopped fresh mint, or red pepper flakes.

      Since it is the middle of winter and my mint plants are dead, I chose the rich, warm Aleppo Pepper flakes from my favorite place, Penzey's Spcies.

      Untitled The verdict? I have to try this recipe again. The carrots tasted lovely, as you might expect. Cumin, cinnamon, peppers - how can you go wrong? Well, the wrong part, to me, was the texture. They were chewy. I mean, pretty darn chewy. "It's not the taste, it's the texture" levels of chewy.

      Perhaps my oven wasn't hot enough. Maybe I didn't leave them in long enough. Or it could be that I made a mistake in using those little peeled supermarket bagged "baby carrots" that aren't really baby carrots at all.

      I'll set this one aside for another day, because I think if I get it right, it will be fabulous.

      Friday, February 22, 2013

      Cooking With Mollie #5: Roasted Red Peppers with Garlic and Lime

      I had this recipe done a couple of days ago and I had to keep holding myself back from posting it. It is so good I wanted to share it immediately. If I had your phone numbers, I would have called you all and told you about it.

      I present, from Mollie Katzen's genius cookbook "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without" (yes, I'm going to keep linking it up every day. It's genius, and don't you think I owe her at least that for the joy she gives me?)

      Roasted Red Peppers Marinated With Garlic And Lime (yay, Mollie has the actual recipe online).

      Could not be simpler. Mollie calls for four red peppers. I had a yellow and a red, so I forged ahead and made adjustments, as we do.

      You roast them in a 400 degree oven on a lightly oiled baking sheet, flipping them every 8 minutes or so, until they look like this, maybe 20-30 minutes: Untitled You put them in the bowl, put a plate on as a lid, a technique I thought I had invented, but Mollie knew it too. A lot of skinning peppers techniques say to put them in a plastic or paper bag, but hello! 1) Weird hot plastic chemicals and 2) these things leak liquid, so ooh, gross. Bowl. Plate. Trust me and Mollie on this one.

      You let them steam in the bowl while you do something else. Then you come back and peel and scrape the skins off with a sharp knife and messily deseed and de-stem them. Chop or slice into rajas (hey, Spanish! But they have a word for "strips of peppers" and we don't. So "rajas") as you wish.

      Untitled Chop. Drizzle with olive oil, a little chopped garlic, salt and pepper. This is where I would normally stop. But NOW the magic Mollie moment: LIME JUICE.

      Lime juice. I would have never thought of that in a million years and yet once you do it, it seems so obvious. The acid perks up the flavor and adds a happy little note of brightness.

      I have a secret for you: you could do this with rinsed roasted peppers from a jar. Don't tell your guests.

      I ate mine on sprouted wheat toast with jalapeno goat cheese. Pretty dang good. Make this. Eat it. Enjoy.

      Thursday, February 21, 2013

      Cooking with Mollie #4: Sesame Leeks and Cabbage

      Do not turn away. I know it's cabbage, but man, this dish is good. It's one of those simple things that will leave you wondering "Why didn't I think of that?"

      How simple is it? You don't even need a recipe, really, though you definitely should buy Mollie Katzen's book, "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without."

      No, she isn't paying me to say that. I'm just hoping for a dinner invite when I get done with this. Yeah. We saw how well that worked out for Julie in the Julie Julia movie. (If you didn't see the movie, there is some indication that Mrs. Child was NOT pleased at Julie's blogging efforts about Mastering the Art of French Cooking.)

      Back to how simple the recipe is: You slice some leeks and wash them. Coupla leeks if you can get the big fat ones like I get from the organic farm, probably 4 or 5 if you can only find small ones. You chop some cabbage, 4 cups more or less.

      Saute the leeks with some oil in a deep pan for about 10 minutes, then throw the cabbage in, cover, voila.

      Untitled Saute, stirring occasionally, until everything begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, so you'll have some lovely browned bits mixed in.

      Salt. Pepper. A drizzle of dark sesame oil. A sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. You're done!

      Untitled Except I wasn't done. I cooked up some noodles from a yaki soba package (throw the nasty seasoning away) and sauteed tofu chunks to mix with the cabbage for a nice hot lunch.

      I thought of a great alternative to this recipe, too - instead of a drizzle of sesame oil, use roasted walnut oil and chopped walnuts. This would be especially good if you could swap out the cabbage for the delicate crinkly Savoy cabbage. Savoy cabbage season lasts about 3 weeks around here, so I'll have to try that next year. I can't wait.

      Bon appetit.

      Wednesday, February 20, 2013

      Cooking with Mollie #3: Spicy Brussels Sprouts Pickles

      You either love Brussels Sprouts or hate them. If you're in the second category, it is my life mission to convert you to the Cult of the Sprout. I love them. I love them steamed, boiled, roasted, shredded into confetti and sauteed...but until this week, I had never loved them pickled. It's simple. You start with about half a pound of fresh sprouts. Peel off the ugly outside leaves. I always peel the outside leaves even if they aren't ugly, because that's where dirt and aphids hide. Cut them in half if they are large (and most sprouts that I can find lately are large). Untitled Then you cook them for just a couple minutes in a large pot of boiling, salted water. I always cook vegetables in heavily salted water because Thomas Keller does, and well, THOMAS KELLER. Drain and rinse them in cold water: Untitled They will be a beautiful bright green. Enjoy that color now, because it's about to change. Ah well, c'est la vie. Then you submerge them in a pickling liquid that is made of 2/3 of a cup of hot water with 1 tbsp of honey mixed in (you could use sugar, too) and 1 tsp of salt. Mollie says to use seasoned rice vinegar, but I had a better idea! I used my spicy peppered vinegar from the Asian market. I went crazy buying's an addiction The spicy vinegar (the one on the left) was perfect. It added a nice zippiness. Someone suggested you could include these sprouts in a Bloody Mary and to that I say yay, yes you could. If you can't find spicy vinegar, you could probably just toss in a teaspoon or two of red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you wanted them. I put a plate on top of the sprouts to ensure they stayed submerged in the pickling liquid. A few hours later, they looked like this: Untitled They are a great little snack. You don't want to eat too many at once, just one or two with a sandwich or cheese plate. Store them in their liquid in the fridge in a glass or ceramic container. Recipe adapted from Mollie Katzen's "Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without."