Pickling your vegetables can help you use that half a bunch of radishes that didn’t make it into the salad, though it’s worth keeping in mind that any vegetable that you wouldn’t eat fresh won’t make for a prized pickle.
While mixing up the flavour additions is a great way to create your own individual customized pickles, don’t be tempted to mess with the vinegar/water ratio as this is the foundation of the whole pickle situation. Salt is vital too. It acts as a preservative while also helping draw out water from the vegetables allowing the brine to permeate. Sugar while also a preservative helps temper the pucker.
- thyme sprigs
- 4 baby carrots, peeled & cut into large slices
- ¼ head of cauliflower, separated the florets
- 1 onion, peeled & quartered
- 1 stick celery, cut into large slices
- jalapeno, cut into large slices
- 150ml white wine vinegar
- 100ml water
- 50g white sugar
- 25g salt
- bay leaf, peppercorns, star anise, juniper berries
- Place sprigs of thyme into the base of clean, dry jars then layer up your cut vegetables in an aesthetically pleasing manner. In a small pan, heat through vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and spices then bring it all to a boil.
- Pour hot pickle brine (including spices) directly into the jar over vegetables. Secure the lid while all still warm. Allow to cool then pop jars into the fridge for a minimum of a few days.
- To serve, decant the pickled vegetables from the brine then top with chopped fresh dill and a generous drizzle of EVOO.
- You’re looking to have the vegetables cut into roughly all the same size so that they pickle evenly at the same time. Also, larger pieces will stay more structurally sound than thin slices.
- Feel free to create your own individual customized flavours by mixing up the additions: herbs such as dill, rosemary, oregano, or marjoram; whole spices mustard seed, coriander, red chilli flakes; sliced garlic cloves or peeled and thinly sliced fresh ginger and turmeric.
- If you choose to pickle a vegetable that is bossy in colour (we’re looking at you, beetroot), it’s probably best to do that one in a separate jar.