Pickling for Dummies

A didn’t grow up a huge fan of pickles, and really wasn’t exposed to anything other than your basic bread and butter and the who knows how old dill variety that were way to green and came out of a jar from the back of the fridge that hadn’t seen daylight since before you were born.  Luckily, I started cooking and a colleague of mine bestowed on me the finer points of pickling and the fact that you could actually pickle more than cucumbers; the first time I had a perfectly pickled green tomato it blew my mind! Keep in mind that this is a very basic recipe that can be used for just about any vegetable; feel free to experiment!

Glass jars with seal tight lids

2 Carrots

2 Cucumbers

2 Green tomatoes

8 oz Radishes

Coriander seed

Whole black pepper corns

Fennel Seed

Water

Cider vinegar

Rice wine vinegar

Salt

Sugar

Cut/slice the veggies however you see fit and set aside; be sure you have enough jars to have a separate one for each type of vegetable; you can combine them, but the flavors will be distorted.

Veggie selection, the green tomatoes are my favorite!

The vinegar to water mixture I usually use is 1:8, meaning one cup of vinegar for every 8 cups of water.  Mix this in a pot and add ½ cup of sea salt, ½ cup of sugar, 1 tbsp each of coriander, black pepper and fennel; bring to a simmer and stir until salt and sugar have dissolved.  My suggestion is to make the batch per these directions and use what you need and toss the rest; if you need more just double everything.  If you stray too far with any ingredients your veggies will spoil or taste like crap after a few days.

Pack the veggies in the jars and then pour in the pickling mixture after it has cooled to room temp. I used this mixture for everything except the radishes; I substituted the cider vinegar with the rice wine vinegar (same ratio) to give them more of an Asian flavor. Fill the jars to the top, replace the lids and refrigerate for 3-4 days! These make a tasty, and healthy, snack or are great on tacos and with grilled meats.

Jarred pickles...three days really isn't that long to wait!

You can probably tell by the picture, but I added a 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes to spice them up a bit…try some with them and some without, as a little of the flakes go a long way when it comes to pickling!

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