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Quick Pickles

Win friends and impress hard-to-please relatives at your next backyard function with fun and easy quick pickles! These great little guys are fast and simple, requiring very few kitchen skills beyond using a timer. They are perfect for people who love pickles, but don’t have the time or inclination to deal with canning, equipment, etc. Quick pickles are also ideal for kitchen creatives as the basic recipe is very simple, but the vinegar, herbs, and spices can be varied to produce almost infinite combinations.

I have included two methods here, one that better suits crunchy, more fibrous vegetables, and one that is better for softer, more permeable fruits and vegetables. Whichever method you use, your pickles will need to sit for at least a few hours, preferably overnight, before they are ready to eat.

Basic Recipe for Crunchier Veggies
Adapted from ReadyMade Magazine.
1 clean pint jar with lid
1 1/2 c. veggies cut into slices or chunks
1 c. vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbs. chopped herbs or a few sprigs
1 tsp. spices
Directions: Bring a large pot of water to boil. While water is heating, fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Add veggies to boiling water and blanch for recommended time. Remove veggies from hot water and plunge into ice bath. As soon as they are cool, remove and drain well. Put blanched veggies in the jar with the vinegar, herbs, and spice. Cover tightly, refrigerate, and enjoy within a week.

Recommended Blanching Times for Selected Veggies (in minutes)
jalapeno slices:1
fennel, thinly sliced: 2
garlic scapes: 1
cucumber slices: 1
asparagus: 2-4
green beans: 3
beets, cut into chunks: 3
brussels sprouts: 3-5
cabbage, shredded: 1.5
carrots, small or strips: 2
cauliflower, 1 inch florets:3
kohlrabi, chunks: 1
okra: 3
summer squash: 1

Combination Ideas

  • grated carrots, cabbage, jalapeno slices, white wine vinegar, and coriander seed
  • gucumber slices, white vinegar, garlic scapes
  • gold beets, rice vinegar, pink peppercorns, and chives
  • fennel, raw blood orange segments, white vinegar, garlic, and fennel seed
  • jalapeno slices, white vinegar, garlic
  • carrots, rice vinegar, cumin, garlic

Basic Recipe for Raw Fruit/Veggies
Adapted from ReadyMade magazine.
1 clean pintjar with lid
1 1/2 c. veggies or fruit, sliced or cut into chunks
1 c. vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbs. chopped herbs or a few sprigs
Directions: Fill jar with fruit/veggies, herb, and spices. Cover and shake gently to mix, then uncover. Bring vinegar, sugar, and salt to boil in a small saucepan. Boil for 1 minute, then pour over raw ingredients. Cover loosely and allow to cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to a week.

Suggested Fruits and Veggies
heirloom tomatoes
purple cipollini onions
sweet peppers

Combination Ideas

  • strawberries, white balsamic vinegar, lemon basil, and peppercorns
  • heirloom tomatoes, white vinegar, curry powder, black raisins
  • purple cipollini onions, red wine vinegar, black mustard seed
  • apricots, white vinegar, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves
  • radishes, rice vinegar, pickling spice

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