It’s the time for preserving — and pickling is an easy, inexpensive, delicious way to keep the best of the season to enjoy year-round.
If you want to go the easy route (ie: not fermented), take the pressure off by thinking of pickling as simply marinating veggies in a really strong vinegary solution, whether it’s sweet or salty-tart.
Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to mix up even a single jar of pickles using whatever’s in season — or anything that needs using up before it winds up in the compost bin.
Ginger Pickled Carrots
(Adapted from Gourmet)
- 1 lb. carrots, peeled
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed (optional)
- 1-2 slices fresh ginger
- 1 ½ Tbsp. coarse salt
Peel and cut the carrots into sticks about the size of your baby finger. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and drop the carrots in; cook for about a minute, then drain them and run under cool water to stop them from cooking. Drain well.
In the same pot, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for a minute. The sugar and salt should be completely dissolved.
Pack the carrot sticks into a jar or jars, and pour the brine overtop, tucking in the slices of ginger too. Let them cool, then store in the fridge for up to a month. They should be ready to eat in a day or two, but will be much better after a week.
Makes 2-4 jars.
Spicy Pickled Eggs with Chiles
- 8 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 cups white or apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup sugar
- pickling spice
- 2-3 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
Boil your eggs: cover with water, bring to a boil for two minutes, then remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
Cool them completely under cold running water and peel. Place in a large jar or two.
In a medium saucepan, bring the vinegar and sugar to a simmer. Put a small spoonful of pickling spice in each jar along with the jalapeno peppers and pour the hot brine overtop. Cool, seal and refrigerate for a few days if you can before eating them. Store for up to a month.
Bread & Butter Pickles
- 10 cups thickly sliced small pickling or wee English cucumbers
- 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
- ½ cup coarse pickling salt
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 cups apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. pickling spices (or try some turmeric, mustard seed, celery seed and a few
Slice the pickles, red pepper and onion into a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Toss and refrigerate for about 6 hours. Pour off the excess moisture, rinse and drain well.
In a large pot, bring the sugar and vinegar to a boil. Add the cucumber mixture and spices and cook for a minute or two. Divide the pickles into jars and pour in the brine to within 1/2 inch of the rim; wipe it clean and seal.
If you’d like to process them for long-term storage, Bernardin suggests processing pickles in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Otherwise, store them in the fridge for up to a month.
Makes about 4 pint jars.
Pickled Radishes with Garlic
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 10 red radishes, trimmed and quartered
- 5 whole garlic cloves
- 5-10 whole black peppercorns
- 1 ½ cups rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
Place the radishes, garlic and peppercorns in a clean glass jar (or a couple jars). In a small saucepan bring the rice vinegar, salt, sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil; set aside to cool slightly and pour over the radishes.
Cover and refrigerate for up to a month.
Spiced Pickled Beets
(Adapted from Put a Lid on It!)
I don’t use measurements here because really you can pickle as many beets as you like, and the brine is made from equal parts white vinegar and sugar. Whole spices are put in each jar, so those numbers will depend on the jars you use.
- Small beets, as many as you want to pickle (the recipe suggests 10-12)
- white vinegar (the recipe suggests 2 cups)
- white sugar (the recipe suggests 2 cups)
- coarse pickling salt
- whole allspice berries
- cinnamon sticks
- whole cloves
Boil the whole beets in a large pot of water for half an hour or roast them wrapped in foil for a little longer, or until they are tender. Let them cool, then peel them.
Keep them whole or slice them or cut them into chunks into your clean, hot jars (I just run them through the dishwasher to disinfect them and get them good and hot).
Put a cinnamon stick (or half one, if they are long), a couple allspice berries and a few cloves into each jar. Sprinkle each with 1/2 tsp. of pickling salt.
On the stovetop, heat equal parts white vinegar and sugar and bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar completely and get it nice and hot. Pour over the beets, leaving about ½″ headspace between the beets and liquid and the top of the jar.