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.