Sweet, tangy and crunchy. Every fridge needs pickles on hand to lift any meal. Experiment with whatever vegetables & spices you love and create your perfect pickle!
These are the simplest pickles to make and can last up to a month in the refrigerator without any complicated canning / preserving steps. All you need to do is make a simple brine of vinegar, water, salt, sugar, spice to pour over the vegetables. You can use almost any vegetable and in some cases after an hour pickling time (eg. ginger), they are ready to go on your favourite sandwich or salad.
Basic pickling brine ingredients:
1 1/4 cup vinegar (something less than 5% acidity – we used apple cider vinegar)
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon of sweetness such honey or sugar or maple (the sweetness factor in pickles is a personal thing – if you like them sweet try up to a ¼ cup of your sweetener)
Approx ½ teaspoon dried whole herbs (mustard seeds, caraway seeds, peppercorn, chilli flakes, whole coriander, whole cumin, dried fennel etc)
Fresh Spices (bay leaf, fresh chilli, garlic, ginger, dill, turmeric etc)
1 teaspoon salt
How to make:
1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Wash your jars in hot soapy water then rinse in very hot water and place on an oven tray in the oven until dry.
2. When dry, pull from the oven and to cool a little for easier handling. Tightly pack the vegetables into the jars leaving about 2cms of room at the top. Set aside.
3. Toast the mustard seeds and peppercorns over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes and add to the vegetables.
4. Add the brining ingredients to a small saucepan and stir until combined and the salt and sugar have dissolved.
5. Bring to a boil and immediately pour the brine into the jars until vegetables are completely covered.
6. Cool to room temperature (about 1 hour) before sealing with a lid. Give them a good shake and turn them around to evenly distribute the brine and spices. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 day before eating – although we enjoy them after even a few hours – especially the ginger as it is soft. Your pickles can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Our must have in the fridge combinations:
1. Pickled ginger – use rice wine vinegar and around 3 tablespoons sugar. Tip – to cut the ginger thinly use a mandolin – although we found the vegetable peeler was the best way to get the thin strips. If you can find baby ginger at the farmers market – buy it! This will give you the pretty pink colour (unlike the fake the dyed pink version flying past on the sushi train).
2. Pickled Cauliflower with chilli, turmeric, fresh garlic, cumin.
3. Pickled radishes with mustard seeds and peppercorns.
Recipe + images by Samantha Mackie