You can make quick pickles with just about any veggie – let your garden or farmer’s market be your guide. It’s as simple as combining vinegar and water with a touch of sweetness and a sprinkling of whole spices. Pour over halved carrots or baby turnips, thinly sliced radishes, red onion or cucumber, julienne kohlrabi, or even chard stems (that wonderful idea comes from Andrea, the farmer behind the terrific food blog, Dishing Up the Dirt). The veggies are at their most fresh in the first few days, but will keep for a couple weeks in the refrigerator.
Nice with sandwiches and cold cuts, as part of a cheese board with chèvre or a triple cream, or as an instant salad with burgers off the grill. Thank you to Kate (Cookie + Kate) for the idea of using honey, and to EatingWell magazine, July/August 2016 for the beautiful photograph of the halved carrots, which inspired my pickling this month.
Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips:
- White wine vinegar is my preferred way to go, but you can use apple cider vinegar or plain rice vinegar. I do not recommend using distilled white vinegar (it is made from grain alcohol and is more sour and harsh tasting.)
- No honey? Substitute granulated sugar – it’ll be fine!
- Joyce and Steve recently opened Montana Honey Bee Company in Bozeman and their Habanero Honey is going in my next batch of pickled carrots- yum!
- Add fresh dill (as in photograph) if you have it available and you like the flavor. Also good: fresh fennel fronds
- Use a glass jar (with lid) to store the veggies + brine in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks
- Reuse your brine with a fresh batch of vegetables as long as you’ve used a fork to serve pickle batch #1 (not your fingers!)
- about 1 pound beautiful, fresh veggies (all one kind or a mix: halved carrots or baby turnips, thinly sliced radishes, cucumber or red onion, julienne kohlrabi, halved cauliflower florets, chopped chard stems, just about anything goes!)
- 3/4 cup white wine vinegar (or champagne vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or unseasoned rice vinegar)
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds (brown or yellow)
- optional add-ins: red pepper flakes (1 teaspoon), whole black peppercorn (1 tablespoon), fennel seeds (1 teaspoon), or coriander seeds (1 teaspoon)
- Prepare the veggies by washing, peeling, and slicing. (A mandoline works great for thin slices.) Place veggies in a glass container - either a flat Pyrex dish (8x11 inch) or canning jars.
- Prepare the brine by combining the vinegar, water, honey, salt and other spices in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and pour over the veggies. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate the veggies in the brine.