Traditional pickling can be kind of a chore. A lot of steps have to be taken to ensure that your pickled food won't go bad in the months (or years) you wait to eat. But if you're not pickling to preserve, making pickles gets much easier.
Quick pickling is an option for just about any kind of produce. Looking for a sweet addition to cocktails or a spicy addition to sandwiches? Your imagination is the limit when it comes to quick pickles.
Gin Pickled Cucumbers
This recipe for gin pickled cucumbers, courtesy of From Belly to Bacon, would make a great garnish for a summer cocktail or a refreshing snack on its own.
Ingredients: 200 ml white wine vinegar, 100 ml gin, 1 large cucumber (sliced), 1/2 shallot (sliced), 2 sprigs mint (leaves only), 1 serrano chili (sliced), 1 lime (zest only), 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, 3 juniper berries
Instructions: In a sterilized glass jar, layer cucumbers, shallots, mint and chilis. Pour gin into jar. Bring vinegar, salt, sugar and lime zest to a boil in a saucepan. Let cool. Once cooled, add brine to jar. Seal jar and wait for three days before opening.
Sriracha Fridge Pickles
Not sure what to do with the left-behind chard stems? This recipe, courtesy of Bon Appetit, gives you an opportunity to turn them into a spicy, tasty treat.
Ingredients: Swiss chard stems (chopped), 1 cup distilled white vinegar, 2 cups sugar, 1/2 onion (thinly sliced), 3 tablespoons Sriracha, 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
Preparation: Make a mixture of vinegar and sugar, then stir in onions, Sriracha and celery seeds. Pour it all over the chopped stems, using 3 cups liquid for every 1 1/2 cups chopped stems. Let it rest in the fridge for a couple of days before eating.
Pickled Vegetable Sandwich Slaw
Want to make a unique slaw to put on just about anything? Smitten Kitten has a great recipe. They used red, yellow and orange bell peppers as well as radishes, sugar snap peas, carrots and cucumber. But they say that you could use any firm and crunchy vegetable that you think would work, as long as there are 4 to 5 cups of them.
Ingredients: 1 cup distilled white vinegar, 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons Kosher salt, 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds, 1 cup cold water, 4 to 5 cups mixed slivered or julienned firm and raw vegetables
Instructions: Heat vinegar, sugar, salt and mustard seeds to a simmer in a small, nonreactive pot over moderate heat, stirring only until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in water, which should bring the mixture's temperature down significantly. Let cool to lukewarm.
Divide vegetables between jars. Pour vinegar mixture over vegetables and refrigerate until needed.