Cooking Techniques

Pickling
Kitchen Notes

I love to serve pickled vegetables at my summer table. They have such dynamic flavor—a home run of sweet, salty and sour—that brings balance to a meal. Not to mention the pleasing crunch! And it reminds me of my grandmother. She pickled everything, including crabapples. It was her way to preserve the harvest ahead of the long winter in Nova Scotia where she lived.

Basic Ingredients

Cucumbers are the number one choice when it comes to pickling. You can also pickle asparagus, beets, carrots, cauliflower, garlic, green beans, okra, red onion, and shallots with delicious results (peaches too!). Adding herbs, garlic, mustard seeds and peppercorns will give your pickle extra zip.

Easy Steps

Pickling is a surprisingly quick and easy technique. The first step is to make a brine by cooking together water, sugar, salt and acid (which can be vinegar or lemon depending on your palate.) Next, chop your vegetable(s) of choice into bite-sized pieces that you can easily spear with a fork. Pack the vegetables into a glass jar, pour in the warm picking liquid and marinate in the fridge for three to six hours so the flavors can marry. Voila! Most pickled vegetables will keep refrigerated for four weeks or longer.

Tasty Combinations
  • Beets, Red Onion and Dill
  • Cucumber, Onion, Red Pepper and Mustard Seed
  • Cauliflower, Coriander Seeds and Curry
  • Carrots and Ginger
  • Green Beans, Spicy Peppers and Garlic
  • Peaches, Onion and Tarragon
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