We’re in the thick of summer once more a time when the squash, beans, and cucumbers at the farmers market appear too alluring to pass up – until you have to decide how to turn that vibrant food into meals.
Here a method for enjoying the summer’s harvest without even turning on the oven: Pickles a variety of fruits and vegetables—yes, even fruits! and spice up your food for hot weather with extra crunch and zest.
I support pickling for a number of reasons. It’s a low-effort, high-reward pastime, to start with. Vegetable should be chop and placed in a jar. A brine with acid should be boil and add. Wait a few hours, then start crunching.
Two, you don’t require specialized tools to do it. Yes you may preserve food using a more sophisticated water-bath canning technique particularly if you intend to store your summer pickles for up to a year.
You don’t have to focus only on canning, though, if you want instant satisfaction.
And lastly, adding loads of flavor to straightforward foods is possible by pickling. Even while I whole heartedly endorse both alternatives pickles are not simply for eating as a snack straight from the jar or for topping a cheeseburger that has just come off the grill.
They are adaptable additions to a variety of popular cuisines. Including grain bowls, tacos, pizza, and other sorts of salads and sandwiches. Chopped, add them to salsa. Mix them up to make a sauce. Place them on top of cooked fish or poultry. Everything is a pickle!
And virtually any produce that you come across can be pickle , absolutely. Pickled vegetables and fruits include entire cherry tomatoes, grapes, cherries, or peaches as well as cucumbers, beets, green beans, zucchini, onions, and shallots. Here’s how I maintain a full refrigerator throughout the summer.
The fundamental Pickle Ratio
You don’t need to store up pounds of food at a time when refrigerator pickled. I enjoy experimenting and creating small batches of recipes in a 12-ounce jar from leftover jam or nut butter or a 16-ounce (1-pint) canning jar.
Depending on what you plan to pickle. The quantity of fruit that will fit in a jar this size may vary but as a general guideline you can put approximately a half-pound of chopped or sliced produce within. Although it may seem apparent, even though this approach does not include a water bath, it is still crucial to make sure your jar is clean before using it.
The fundamental components of a brine are vinegar, kosher salt, and water. You can pickle just about anything in your pantry with those items. In order to balance out the flavor and lessen how sharply acidic it is, I add a little granulated sugar.
My basic pickling brine recipe, which yields enough to fill a 16-ounce jar, is as follows:
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- water, 1/2 cup
- kosher salt, two tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon sugar, granulated
Stirring periodically, add the ingredients to a 1-quart pot and heat to a simmer. Fill a jar with your preferred vegetables while the liquid warms. Make sure the vegetables is well cover in the hot liquid before carefully pouring it into the Methods for altering the tastecontainer. Before tasting, seal and place in the fridge for at least eight hours.
Methods For Altering The Taste
This pickling ratio should only be use as a guide. As long as the pickles are kept in the refrigerator. There is room to experiment with the elements because they are not being water-bath can for room-temperature storage.
Increase the vinegar and decrease the water in your pickles to give them a sharper vinegar flavor. Do an all-vinegar pickle if you’re feeling very daring. The solution will be too weak if the vinegar to water ratio is less than 1:1.
Because it is a blank slate, white vinegar is the most adaptable vinegar to use for pickling. However, red or white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be use for additional taste alternatives. Balsamic vinegar is typically too strong for pickling. But you may try substituting half of your regular vinegar with white balsamic vinegar to add sweetness and depth.
The ratio of sugar to salt should be change or the amount of sugar should be increase to 1/4 cup for every cup of liquid. If you wish to prepare a sweet pickling liquid for onions or jalapenos.
Try both fresh and dried herbs and spices while choosing them. Thyme, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and other herbs from the garden are all good options in addition to the traditional dill. It’s traditional to use whole spices like peppercorns, mustard, bay leaves, and cloves, but you may also use crushed or whole chile peppers, cinnamon sticks, or star anise.
Utilizations For Your Home-Made Pickles
When added to other dishes, refrigerator pickles can function as a condiment or a vegetable in and of themselves.
Sandwiches: Add pickles in layers, much like you would lettuce or tomatoes. You may make a substantial vegetarian pickled broccoli sandwich on thick bread with cheese and greens. You can substitute pickled veggies for the traditional kraut or slaw in a Reuben sandwich.
Alternately Finely slice your own pickled veggies and mix them with your preferred chicken, chickpea, tuna salad recipe before stuffing it into a pita or a wrap. (This is also a great way to jazz up a pre-made salad.)
In salads: As opposed to a typical lunch salad, pickled fruit adds so much excitement to a summer salad. Try serving salad greens, pickled grapes or cherries, a handful of almonds, and a crumbly cheese like goat or feta. Or top a grain salad or grain bowl with pickled veggies like green beans or cauliflower.
If you have a few pickle veggies leftover in a jar slice them into tiny pieces and combine them with any brine that is left over. Some extra virgin olive oil to make a quick homemade salad dressing.
Additional Ways To Consume Your Home-Made Pickles
Pizza with pickles? Please, yes! I have chosen banana peppers as a starting point to experiment with other sour veggies on my grilled pizzas. They are one of my favorite pizza toppings. Consider sliced squash, peppers, cherry tomatoes, or pickled cauliflower.
Spaghetti with pickles? Sure! In addition to being always welcome in pasta salad (and potato salad for that matter) pickled veggies can add an unexpected zest to spicy pasta dishes. For taste, combine a can of whole or crushed tomatoes with finely sliced pickled zucchini. If the pickled zucchini is a touch peppery, bonus points! Or garnish pesto-sauced noodles with pickled shallots, broccoli, or peppers.
For burrito bowls, tacos, or any other beloved Tex-Mex cuisine, there are always pickled red onions, pickled beets mixed with hummus for a stunning twist. Finely chopped pickled veggies combined with cream cheese and sour cream for a refreshing dip.
Additionally, there’s always “snack dinner” with a variety of pickled veggies to save the day when it’s too hot to think of anything else to do. Food writer, illustrator, and editor Casey Barber is the proprietor of the website Good Food Stories.