If You’d Like to Get Into Pickling…

I love the tart taste of pickled vegetables, so I found myself drawn to experiment with the creation process. Pickled veggies offer two key benefits. They present beautifully on a charcuterie board and have a tangy kick that just doesn’t get old. There are lots of recipes out there, but my favourite comes from the Hello, My Name is Tasty Cookbook. He uses a recipe that makes 6 cups of brine for 2 quarts pickled vegetables, I cut the recipe in half.

3 quarts of water

1 c kosher salt

Peels of 1 lemon with as little pith as possible

1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes

1 quart of veggies. I used cauliflower, green beans, multi-coloured carrots and radishes

For the brine:

2 1/4 cup of champagne vinegar (this is my go-to)  

3/4 c of water

1/4 c of sugar

6 cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

Step 1

Blanch veggies. Bring the water, salt, lemon peels and red pepper flakes to a rolling boil. Add veggies and return to a boil. Cook them until they are cooked, but still crisp. The Italian in me calls it, veggie al dente. The hot brine will cook them a bit more and no one likes limpy pickled veggies. Drain the veggies and arrange them on a single layer baking sheet to cool them to room temp. (I put mine on a baking sheet lined with these).

Tip! Blanched veggies are great as a side dish in lunches. Talk about gourmet meal prep. 

Step 2

Transfer cooked veggies to a heatproof container (beautiful and functional option), filling the jars until all veggies are nestled in nicely but not squished.

Step 3

Make the brine in a medium (never aluminium) pot with vinegar, water, sugar, cloves, and cinnamon over high heat. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook until sugar is completely dissolved.

Step 4

Pour the hot brine evenly into the jars to cover the vegetables. Allow pickles to cool to room temp, close the lids tightly, and then refrigerate. After 6 hours, voila! Pickles are ready for snacking! The cookbook says they keep one week, but if you don’t eat pickled veggies every day, I’ve found their taste holds strong for at least a few weeks.

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