Pickle Me This
My quest for homemade pickles stemmed from these magical dill-habanero-garlic-infused pickles that I happened to pick up at a routine Whole Foods excursion. 'Twas this fateful visit that changed my pickle perspective for good, and my bread and butter pickle lovin' days were over. Since spring had officially begun, I thought there was no other perfect time to pickle than on a mid-sixty degree day. That's when my better half and I set out on a pickling endeavor, scouting the grocery for the prettiest produce. We decided on asparagus, garlic cloves, habanero peppers, jalapeños, miniature red onions, cucumbers and carrots. After researching we found that everyone voiced their own foolproof methods for pickling: add more water here, let cool to room temperature, properly can the jars this way; the preferences for pickle preparation is never ending. We experimented and found this simple brine-refrigerating method worked best for us.
What I love about pickling is that you can use whatever you like. We included many a pepper because we like a kick, but feel free to add or subtract to your liking. In my next pickling venture I may go for okra, beets, green beans, or cauliflower.
*This recipe adheres to a 48 ounce jar, as well as an additional smaller jar.
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup malt vinegar
3 cups water
2 tbsp whole peppercorns
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
Vegetables to be Pckled
2 cucumber, quartered
1 bundle of asparagus, bottoms cut off
1 carrot, quartered
7 mini red onions
8 cloves garlic, coarsely sliced
2 jalapeños, sliced in half
2 habaneros, sliced in half
1 cup fresh dill
- Combine the brine ingredients in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir and set aside to cool.
- Before packing, begin by sterilizing the jars by boiling them in water for a few minutes to kill off any bacteria.
- In the jars, place about an inch of dill on the bottom, then the vegetables to be pickled on top. (You can also choose to halfway cook the asparagus before pickling if you prefer your veggies to be soft, but I like the raw crunchiness.) Once the vegetables are tightly packed, add the brine until the vegetables are covered. Seal with the lid and place in the refrigerator. Throughout the day, take the jar out and turn it upside down and sideways to let the brine and vegetables thoroughly mix.
An hour later they were tasty. A few hours later they were tastier. The next day the pickles were soaked and wonderfully sour. However, the longer you wait, the better they’ll taste. They keep for two weeks. What this all started as a near anxiety attack from whether or not pickling was for us, it quickly turned into a breezy way to kick off spring.