So Much Joy for So Little Effort.
As I suppose this post will make clear, I love pickles. All kinds of pickles. I like plenty of acid with my meals and having assorted high quality homemade pickles on hand leaves me with choices. I am never without one and usually have several kinds sitting in the fridge. While cucumbers are commonly used, I have a family member who is not a fan, so I opt for other interesting vegetables.
Besides being fresh tasting and delicious, nothing brings brilliant color to a meal like some of these pickles, particularly the turnip and beet variety. Pack the turnip and beet spears into a jar, along with a couple serrano chilies, pour over a simple warm brine, let them sit at room temperature for a few days, transfer them to the fridge, and you’ve got yourself some of the crunchiest pickles you’ll ever put in your mouth.
The green tomato and carrot variety are a different eating experience. These actually take a a couple of days to make – only because they need to drain. It’s almost all hands-off time. After being pickled, they are packed into jars and filled with garlic and chili seasoned olive oil. Add a couple of these to an Italian hoagie, while drizzling some of the oil on the bread, for one of the best-of-your-life sandwich eating experiences.
The cauliflower pickles are the most delicately textured of the three. I add a little sugar to these, along with black mustard seeds, coriander seeds, juniper berries, and fresh turmeric. Feel free to substitute dried ground turmeric if you don’t have access to the fresh stuff. I love eating these with rich pork dishes, among other things.
If I’m not serving a salad with my meals, I usually have a bowl of pickles on the table. Sometimes, just one variety, other times, there will be several. I’m like a kid in a candy store when faced with the prospect of choosing which ones to put on my plate. Each one brings their own particular joy. Give me a plate of hummus, bread, assorted homemade pickles, and I’m in my happy place.
All of these pickles are very easy to make. I don’t process them in a water bath. I keep them in my fridge and they’re all eaten way before they have a chance to go bad. You will notice that I use cane vinegar* in a couple of the recipes. I like its more delicate and mellow flavor, but you can also use cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, etc. It’s up to you. Any of those vinegars will make great pickles.
Once again you have inspired me to rush to my kitchen for a little experiment of my own. It was the cauliflower with turmeric that was calling me.
I used the ingredients in the recipe except for the vinegar. Instead I pulled out my Fido jar, weighed the cauliflower (and cabbage that I had on hand), added sea salt at 2% of the weight, and packed it into the jar. Then added water infused with 2% salt to replace the vinegar and water component. It should develop a nice briny flavour in the next few days, and then into the fridge. One benefit is that it aids in digestion due to the lactobacillus bacteria produced. Perhaps you too will come over to the dark side of fermentation?
Hi there, Darlene! I love what you did with the cauliflower. I also enjoy fermentation. I’ve got a gallon of kimchi working its magic in my fridge right now. It’s been going for 2 1/2 weeks now (3 days at room temp to get it started and then 2 weeks in the fridge). This time I made it without a slurry and am anxious to try the result. Another week and it should be ready to eat. I hope your cauliflower turns out well!!
I demo every year at Picklesburg- a summer event in Pittsburgh celebrating all things pickled. I 💕 pickled turnips and have never found one as good as my PA Dutch grandmother’s. I think I just found it! Thank you!
I love this – Picklesburg!! This must be so much fun! I hope you like the turnips. I use more beets in mine than is typical, but that’s just the way I like them. Please let me know what you think after you’ve make them. Very welcome!