With farmers markets in full swing offering a wide variety of vegetables, pickling them is a great way to utilize and store vegetables through the summer and fall seasons. When pickling, you create a brine that you're able to flavor however you'd like, allowing for your vegetables to be as sweet or spicy as you prefer. Sous Chef Bryan Nader from Mercy Health Saint Mary's will show you some easy pickling recipes.
2lbs small cucumbers
1 cup pickling salt
4 Tbsp. whole mustard seeds
1 Tbsp. whole allspice
1 Tbsp. whole juniper berries
1 Tbsp. turmeric
2 tsp. coriander seeds
5 whole cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 bay leaves crushed
1 small 2-inch stick of cinnamon, broken into pieces
1 whole star anise
1 ½ cups distilled white vinegar
2 Tbsp. pickling salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
¼ cup thinly sliced white onion
4 medium garlic cloves
2 large sprigs of dill weed.
- In a large bowl soak cucumbers in 1 gallon of water and 1 cup salt. Let stand while your prepare the brine
- In a medium stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar with 2 cups of water, 2 Tbsp. salt and sugar. Add in 2 Tbsp. mustard seeds, allspice, juniper, turmeric, coriander, cloves, ginger, bay leaves, cinnamon and star anise. Bring mixture just to a boil, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Clean jars and divide garlic, onion, dill weed, remaining 2 Tbsp. mustard seeds, and pickles between the jars. Pour in the liquid to the top of each jar, seal and allow to cool in the refrigerator for 3 weeks before serving.
Basic Pickling Recipe
1 pound fresh vegetables, such cucumbers, carrots, green beans, summer squash, cherry tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill, or rosemary (optional)
1 to 2 teaspoons whole spices, such black peppercorns, coriander, or mustard seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon dried herbs or ground spices (optional)
2 cloves garlic, smashed or sliced (optional)
1 cup vinegar, such as white, apple cider, or rice
1 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt or 2 teaspoons pickling salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
- Prepare the jars: Wash 2 wide-mouth pint jars, lids, and rings in warm soapy water and rinse well. Set aside to dry, or dry completely by hand.
- Prepare the vegetables: Wash and dry the vegetables. Peel carrots. Trim the end of beans. Cut vegetables into desired shapes and sizes.
- Add the flavorings: Divide the herbs, spices, or garlic you are using into the jars.
- Add the vegetables: Pack the vegetables into the jars, making sure there is a 1/2 inch of space from the rim of the jar to the tops of the vegetables. Pack them in as tightly as you can without smashing.
- Make the pickling liquid: Combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar (if using) in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the brine over the vegetables, filling each jar to within 1/2 inch of the top. You might not use all the brine.
- Remove air bubbles: Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more pickling brine if necessary.
- Seal the jars: Place the lids over the jars and screw on the rings until tight.
- Cool and refrigerate: Let the jars cool to room temperature. Store the pickles in the refrigerator. The pickles will improve with flavor as they age — try to wait at least 48 hours before cracking them open.
Courtesy: Mercy Health Saint Mary's