Pickles! Pickles! Pickles!

No matter how you slice them, everyone loves pickles. With spring around the corner and life moving outdoors again, pickles should be on your list of home made snacks to keep around the house. They are crisp, refreshing and easy to make. While they are traditionally made from cucumbers – a great source of Vitamin K – there are many other vegetables that are worth adding in to a great pickle recipe.

Everyone Loves Pickled Cucumbers

What Can Be Pickled?

Well, the answer is basically any vegetable can be pickled. The real issue is what vegetables should be pickled. I once came across pickled broccoli (do not, I repeat NOT attempt – rather like eating a crunchy fart). Another foray into odd pickles was fennel. It was interesting to contrast the licorice flavor and the vinegar, but the bottom line is no.

Those experiments aside, some great vegetables (and fruit) to pickle are:

  • Green Beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Radishes
  • Daikon
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Jicima
  • Beets
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • And if none of these things seem like they should be pickled to you, try some different cucumbers.
Don’t Limit Yourself to Just Pickled Cucumbers!

Quick Pickles Recipe

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Vinegar (see below for vinegar choices)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • Teaspoon Salt
  • Whatever you decide to pickle – about 2 pounds of it
    • OPTIONAL – Fresh Herbs such as:
      • Dill
      • Parsley
      • Lemon Grass
      • whatever you use – use about a tablespoon of it

Directions

Whisk together vinegar, sugar, water, salt and herbs if you have opted to add them. Set aside. Chop vegetables into snack sized bites and put into large bowl. Pour liquid mixture over the vegetables and cover tightly. Leave in refrigerator for 3 hours to overnight. Viola. Pickles.

Pairs with cheese and chutney, olives, sandwiches, chicken or other bbq. Lasts about 3 to 5 days.

Picking Your Vinegar

Picking your vinegar is often a question of how much money you have to spend on your side dish. In all honesty, any vinegar will make a reasonable pickle (except balsamic – do not attempt). You should not be afraid to try some more adventurous vinegar if you have the chance. It can really enhance the flavor.

Vinegar Types

  • White Vinegar – cheap & easy to locate. Strongest taste of all vinegar.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – made from apple juice it is a bit sweeter and gives a nice flavor. Use the filtered kind.
  • Wine Vinegar – Can be made from red, white or champagne. Adds a wonderful lightness to the flavor and may be more appealing to younger kids.
  • Rice Vinegar – Very light flavor. Made from rice wine.

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