Pickling is a great way to extend the life of the vegetables you grow. It also happens to add a deliciously sour, tangy zing that’s fun to enjoy independently or as part of a dish. “Quick Pickling” with vinegar is the easiest way of doing it. The process uses the acidy of vinegar to preserve your vegetables. Over time, foods pickled with vinegar will lose some of their nutritional value, but that doesn’t mean they won’t stay delicious and crunchy over time.
What Can Be Pickled:
You can pickle any fruit or vegetable you want. Cucumbers and peppers are popular favorites, but many folks enjoy pickling beans, radishes, squash, tomatoes and much more as well. I’ve heard that even pickled strawberries provide a unique and tasty treat.
How to Pickle:
A basic pickling brine only requires a few basic ingredients:
- 1 Cup of Water
- 1 Cup of Vinegar (white vinegar, white wine vinegar or cider vinegar)
- 1 Tablespoon of Kosher or Pickling Salt
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- You may also want to add items like garlic, peppercorns, dried herbs or mustard seeds to provide unique flavors
While you’re bringing your brine to a boil, place your veggies in an empty glass jar. When your brine begins to boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Then, after letting your brine cool slightly for ~10 minutes, pour it into the jar with your veggies, seal it and place it in the fridge. Now you can enjoy your pickled veggies in a few hours, or in a few months.
More Tips on Pickling:
- Many folks like to roast or dry vegetables before pickling them. This can bring out new flavors.
- If you’d like to preserve your vegetables as long as possible, you can Brine them before you pickle them. The extra salt helps with the preservation of your pickled items, and can help with the taste and crispiness as well.
- Some of your vegetables may change color from being pickled. Blanching them in boiled water for 2-3 minutes, and then placing them in an ice bath will help to preserve their color. The type of vinegar you choose will also impact color. Distilled white vinegar and white wine vinegar will lead to the least discoloration.