If you find yourself with extra vegetables, or just some you'd like to keep around longer, put them to use with some good old fashioned pickling. This will result in yummy eats your whole family will love and the preservation of food that might have otherwise gone bad before it went to good use.
What Is Pickling?
Before delving into the recipes, you may be wondering what the art of pickling even is. Pickling is the act of soaking foods in a solution that prevents spoiling. This can be one of two mixtures. First, there is the vinegar solution. The high presence of acid in vinegar makes it so that bacteria has hardly any chance of survival. The second solution used in pickling is a salt brine. This mixture encourages fermentation and the growth of good bacteria that makes food less apt to the bad bacteria that leads to spoiling.
It’s commonly thought that cucumbers are the only thing worth pickling to make, well, pickles, but this isn’t truly the case. In fact, many vegetables and even other foods can be pickled just the same as cucumbers can, and with great results.
While sometimes it’s required to can items to pickle them, the recipes below are a bit simpler. They utilize regular jars - like mason jars - and can be stored in the fridge to complete the pickling process. The recipes below utilize vinegar solutions to keep food from spoiling and adding to the flavor of the end result.
Winter Vegetable Pickling Recipes
Now that the basics of pickling have been covered, let’s move on to some simple yet effective recipes.
Pickled radishes add a zing of flavor to any meal, including salads, tacos, or even stir fry. To create your own, slice ten radishes and then place them in a jar. Heat two-thirds cups of white vinegar and a third cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in a tablespoon of granulated sugar until it is fully dissolved. Then, remove the solution from heat and add one star anise pod, a half teaspoon of cumin seed, and a half teaspoon of black peppercorns. Allow the mixture to cool for ten minutes. Then, pour the liquid over the radishes and let it cool to room temperature. Put the lid on the jar and store in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy.
These are a great addition to any sandwich, salad, or homemade Mexican dish. These are also made in a jar. Slice ten large jalapenos into rings and set aside. Over high heat, combine three-quarters cup of water, three-quarters cup distilled white vinegar, three tablespoons of granulated sugar, a tablespoon of salt, a clove of crushed garlic, and a half teaspoon of oregano. Bring the solution to a boil and then add jalapenos to the pan. Then, remove the pan from the stove and let the mixture cool for at least ten minutes. Use tongs to put all of the jalapenos in the jar, then pour the vinegar solution into the jar. Place the cap on the jar and store in the fridge.
There are a million uses for garlic, and it’s really good for you. That makes this a versatile and useful pickling recipe. Start with the somewhat tedious task of peeling a half pound of garlic. Place in a bowl and cut the cloves in half. Mix in a chopped red bell pepper. Set this mixture aside. In a saucepan, heat two cups of distilled white vinegar and two-thirds cup of granulated sugar over medium heat.
Place a half teaspoon ground dry mustard and a half teaspoon of celery seed in a spice bag and place it in the liquid mixture, bringing it to a boil. After boiling for five minutes, add garlic and pepper to the mixture. Boil for another five minutes. Then, take away from heat and get rid of the spice bag. Take the garlic and peppers and store it in a jar, filling it to one inch from the top. Pour the liquid over the garlic until it reaches a quarter inch from the top. Place the cap on the jar and store in the fridge for three weeks (or more) before using.
Pickling is a great way to stretch the life of your vegetables or food and add delicious flavors to your meal and home.