Veggie Quick Pickles
This is a really wonderful -AND EASY- way to use abundant produce. They can really elevate a salad, wrap, or plain burger, and definitely add a wow factor to an appetizer tray that is sure to impress.
All you do is bring some water, vinegar, salt, optional sweetener and spices to a boil, then pour over chopped veggies in a jar, and refrigerate. Boom, done!
Wait a day or two to get full flavor, but if you're in a hurry, they're true to their name- tasty within a couple of hours, and are very nicely melded in half a day. Quick pickles will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week; "hard" veggies like carrots and cauliflower will last a month or more.
Tie a ribbon on the jar, and you've got a great last-minute birthday or host gift.
Quick Pickle "Recipe"
Arrange washed, prepared veggies tightly into clean pint or quart jars along with large seasonings like herb sprigs and sliced onion. Bring brine to a boil, then pour over veggies. If pouring into more than one jar, stir liquid as you go to make sure each jar gets some spices. Leave jars on counter to cool for 30-60 minutes, then cover and refrigerate.
Slice the veggies according to how you'll use them. For example, we love radish and kohlrabi pickles on tacos and burgers, so I thin slice them into circles or half moons. We put pickled rhubarb on our salads or on a cheese plate, so I'll often cut them diagonally in 1"-2" pieces. Leave green onions and ramps long, and add to veggie trays and Bloody Mary's. A few other awesome quick pickle veggies are: carrot sticks, multi colored cauliflower florets, rainbow chard and beet stems, green/yellow beans, onions, cucumbers.
Use basic vinegars- apple cider, white/red wine, rice. Avoid aged/balsamic types for pickles.
Start with ratio of 1 c. water to ½ c. vinegar. To make it tangier, add more vinegar.
Add a little salt; start with ½ - 1 tsp. for every 1½ -2 c. liquid, then taste and adjust
Sweeten with organic cane sugar, honey, or maple syrup -start with 1- 2 tsp. per 2 c. liquid
Add store-bought pickling spice (easiest) -about 1 Tbsp. per 2 c. liquid.
Or create your own spice/herb/seasoning mix- good candidates for your concoction: dried chilis, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, seeds such as celery, coriander, cumin, fennel, mustard -again, about 1 Tbsp. total per 2 c. liquid
Other optional additions: 1-2 sprigs fresh herbs or dried spices like dill, thyme, rosemary; slivers of onion, garlic, ginger, lemon rind, lemongrass
Recipe created or adapted by Liz Talley, Urban Graze
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