Quick pickling is an easier way to enjoy the crisp, zesty pickles you crave without the time-consuming task of preserving and canning. And cucumbers are only the beginning. There are very few rules in the world of quick pickling. Make a brine, choose your fare, and within a day you can enhance salads, sandwiches, and appetizer trays with your cool, colorful creations. Make sure to keep quick pickles refrigerated, and use them within a month.
For the brine:
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of vinegar (white, apple cider, or rice wine)
- 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon of sugar (optional)
- Peppercorns and mustard seeds (optional)
Toast the peppercorns and mustard seeds (if using) for a few minutes then add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Heat until the salt and sugar is dissolved.
After letting the brine cool off and tightly packing your pickling fodder into jars, pour the liquid into the jars ½ inch from the top. Leave them to cool to room temperature, then screw the lids on tightly and refrigerate.
Toast coriander seeds with your brine, and add turmeric and crushed red pepper flakes for spicy cauliflower pickles.
Chard is an easy-to-grow cool-weather crop that comes in a variety of colors. Slice the stems lengthwise for a crunchy pickled snack.
Rinse your salted herring, and omit salt from the brine. This Scandinavian pickled fish is great on toast, and you can add onions and lemon to the jar.
Add extra sugar, ginger and star anise to your brine for this Southern specialty. Instead of tossing watermelon rinds, just peel off the hard skin and turn them into a tangy treat.
Eggs and Beets
Pickling hard-boiled eggs and sliced beets together will give you brightly colored eggs perfect for the Easter table.
Thinly-sliced red cabbage will make a great pickled side dish for heavy meat dishes. Combine Napa cabbage with onions and spices to make a simple Korean kimchi.
Radish, Carrots, and Garlic
A fresh take on bread and butter pickles can be made with radishes and carrots instead. Cut them into 1/4-inch coins and blanch before pickling with dill seed, red pepper flakes, and crushed garlic cloves.
You’ll want to salt and drain eggplant first to draw out some of its moisture, but it pickles well with mint, oregano, red peppers, and olive oil.
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