Friday, August 22, 2014

More Than Cucumbers

So, are your pickles ready?  Mine are just to that nice, sour point and they're going in the fridge today.  (When they get to the right sour level for you, then they need to go in the fridge.  Otherwise you get pickle mush.  Blech.)

So last time we talked about classic pickles.  You can put these in jars and process in a water bath, and they're shelf stable for about a year.  That makes them, "canned pickles."  There are two other types, "refrigerator pickles" and "quick pickles."  Quick pickles are ones you cook in the brine for a brief period, chill, and eat right away.  Refrigerator pickles use a higher vinegar content, and ferment in the fridge.

But all of these methods can be used on any firm vegetable.  Below are some pickled vegetable recipes I've used – and enjoyed – in the past.

Photo via Food and Wine
Here's a recipe for general pickled vegetables.  It calls for a collection of beans, etc., but you can really use just about anything with a solid texture.  I use this recipe when I'm giving away preserves as gifts.  Choose a variety of vegetables with an assortment of colors and shapes.  Take your time and arrange them in the jar carefully and artistically, and it makes a nice gift.

Photo via
Cauliflower should be in season in just a couple more weeks, and these curried pickled cauliflower florets are amazing.  Probably the most common pickle I make, other than cukes.

Photo via
The herb-y sourness of these green beans is really divine.  Be advised, a little bit of lemon peel goes a looooong way, particularly if you make enough of these that some will be on the shelf for a few months.    I usually cut the lemon peel by a third.

Photo via Serious Eats
Finally, let's talk carrots.  There's classic dilly carrots, which are a great way to remember summer come wintertime, but these spicy carrots have a lot of character.  Again, a word of caution.  It calls for slightly more than a tablespoon of red pepper flakes per jar.  I use a scant teaspoon, and they'll still really curl your toenails.

Anyone have any other pickled veggie recipes you like?

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