This July, we’re celebrating all things pickled with National Pickle Month! Pickling not only prolongs the life of your favorite produce but also takes its flavor to a whole new level that you simply wouldn’t find when eaten fresh. Most of us have grown up on the common dill pickle where we added to them our favorite burgers and sandwiches or enjoyed them straight out of hand as a snack. But did you know that there are so many other wonderful vegetables and even fruits out there that you can pickle? After all, pickling has been one of the culinary world’s hottest trend over the past few years and many of us have been thinking beyond the basic cucumber. From crunchy green beans to earthy beets and even sweet peaches make for some pretty incredible pickles that you can munch on long after their seasonality has finished.
Homemade pickles are incredibly easy to make at home and that combination of tangy, salty, briny and sweet is simply irresistible. We love the method of quick pickling because it it doesn’t require any complicated or lengthy canning processes. All of you need is your choice of vegetables or fruits, boiling water and vinegar. If you really want a unique pickle, don’t be shy in incorporating spices, fresh or dried herbs or even chiles if you want an extra kick. This process is entirely customizable and works with so many different ingredients that you may find yourself with more than enough pickles you can handle this summer. In order to insure a successful pickling process, choose only the freshest produce you can find. These pickles can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Yields: 2 pint-sized jars
- 1 lb of fresh vegetables or fruits
- 2 sprigs of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, dill, etc. (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme, paprika, etc. (optional)
- 2 teaspoons of whole spices such as mustard seeds, black peppercorns, anise seeds, etc. (optional)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of white granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
- 2 pint jars with lids, washed and dried
1. Begin by preparing the vegetables or fruits. Make sure they’re washed, dried and have been cut or trimmed into their desired shapes.
2. Make your brine by combining the water, vinegar, salt and sugar into a saucepan. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Stir the salt and sugar to dissolve.
3. Add the spices or herbs into the jars. Reserve half the spices for each jar.
4. Add the vegetables to the jar and pour in the pickling brine, filling up each jar while leaving about 1/2 an inch to the top.
5. Tap the jars against a hard surface to remove any air bubbles. Seal the jars.
6. Allow for the jars to cool to room temperature, then place into the refrigerator for a minimum of 48 hours before consuming.
Anything you can fit into a jar, you can probably pickle. Here are a couple of our favorite recipes to help get you started on your pickling journey for this scrumptious food holiday:
What exactly are Bread and Butter Pickles anyways? These pickles are more commonly known as sweet pickles and get their name from the Great Depression when food was scarce and were enjoyed sandwiched between two slices of brown bread. Bread and Butter are the perfect accompaniment to sandwiches and burgers. This recipe is made with Melissa’s Organic Mini Cucumbers, Organic Bell Peppers, Sweet Onions and get an extra kick from fiery Serrano chiles. They’re best enjoyed a week or two after refrigeration.
Word of warning, these aren’t any ordinary turnips. Tokyo Turnips, also known as our baby turnips, are a tender, mildly sweet and juicy variety with a slightly spicy bite. They’re so delicious that we couldn’t help ourselves when pickling these adorable little bulbs. All you need is water, sea salt, crushed and dried red chiles such as our Japones or De Arbol and a little Meyer Lemon zest. Pickled Tokyo Turnips are best enjoyed within a couple days and pairs beautifully with hot rice, farro and banh mi sandwiches.