Welcome to another issue of basics. This month (We are thinking about making this a monthly thing by the way) we bring you: how to quickly pickle items. It’s a very useful method that you can use to extend the life of your seasonal produce. What we did here was pickle some ramp bottoms before they went completely out of season.
Pickling is easy and there are two methods, one uses salt and the other uses vinegar. Both methods are good and have similar results. The salt method is used for such things as sauerkraut or kimchi and I suppose that it goes hand in hand with fermentation. The vinegar method is used for, well… pickles also known as (but not limited to) pickled cucumbers. These items usually use the term “pickled” and can be done to just about everything. This is my preferred method that I use at home and work.
After reading the Momofuku cook book, I really got into pickling random items. Like melons, berries, onions, garlic, If I had some leftover veggies from prepping dinner, I would just pickle them. You can make a big batch of the liquid and just pickle a whole bunch of ingredients you picked up from the market. It also helps that I work in an Israeli restaurant so I get to pickle everything from cauliflower hearts to fiddle heads. Feel free to add some flavoring agents to the liquid as well. Some variations would be to add some turmeric, turning the veggie yellow while adding some tang. You can also add some fresh whole herbs (stem and all) too add some herbaceous flavors. I really like thyme or parsley. Also adding chili flakes or whole peppers yields a nice spicy pickle.
Basic Pickling LiquidPrint This
- 1 Cup White Wine Vinegar
- 2/3 Cup Water
- 1/3 Cup Sugar
Put everything into a pot and bring to a boil. stir to disperse the sugar.
Immediately pour over prepared vegetables to cover, then let cool.
You can eat them with in about 3 hours but they will be much better if vegetables and liquid get to know each other a little longer.
Makes 1 2/3 Cup liquid.
This is a 3-2-1 Ratio meaning that you need three parts of the smallest quantity. so if your vegetables are in a quart(4 Cups) mason jar. I would scale this recipe like so: 3 C. vinegar, 2 C. water and 1 C. sugar. you'll have some left over but you will have enough to cover the veggies. It is imperative that you cover you veggies in this liquid. they like to float once pickled so I lay a piece of parchment over them and weigh with a plate or anything that would fit to keep them submerged.
Feel free to experiment with the liquid like I do, the possibilities are endless. The main thing to keep the same is the ratio of sugar to water to vinegar. I use pickles as a garnish or something I add to salads most frequently. Dress them in lots of olive oil with herbs and you have a pickled salad of sorts. They come in handy when I try something and think “Man this would be better with some sort of acidic element”. They are great to have on hand and I hope that I’ve inspired you to get going and pickle something.