Although pickled vegetables can be purchased at a low rate from your supermarket, I would advise that you make your own. Store bought ones a mass produced and mostly made with a cheap synthetic vinegar and oil and bumped up with extra additives and preservatives. Making your own will taste much better and its another fun thing to do in the kitchen!
To achieve excellent pickled products, they rely on high quality products and fresh ingredients. No good having near spoiled food or veg about to turn bad used in your pickled jar. Making your own means you can choose the best produce to suit you and opens your world up to try and taste new and exciting flavours that can be achieved through spicing or adding herbs to really kick those taste buds into fifth gear.
You can pickle almost anything, again providing that its fresh and not about to turn bad. The biggest error most people make is using vegetables that are about to go bad. They may do well in your lovely roast dinner but they wont do in a pickle jar.
So here is a run down on how to quick pickle a vegetable.
What you will need:
- A wide mouth jar.
- Fresh vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots, dill pickles, tomatoes etc.
- Some fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme or some dill. (This is optional)
- 1 Teaspoon of herbs or spices. (This is also optional)
- 1 Cup of vinegar. For example. White vinegar, distilled. Apple cider or rice.
- 1 Cup of water.
- 2 Tablespoons of pickling salt
- 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar. (Optional)
Lets get started!
- Wash the jar. This is important to wash and remove any other residue from to prevent any contamination or flavour damaging. Set a side to dry and make sure to dry by hand.
- Prepare your veg. Wash and dry the veg. Peel your carrots and finely cut your them into spears. Same goes for the cucumbers.
- Add your flavours. Place everything into your clean and dry jar.
- Add your vegetables. Pack them all into the jar and make sure there is enough space at the top of the jar free for the vinegar and water to fill the jar to the top. Do not overcrowd the jar.
- Make your pickling liquid. Combine the remaining ingredients into the jar. (Your vinegar, water, salt and sugar if using. Fill the jar to the top leaving a half an inch gap at the top. You may not use all of your brine.
- Remove all the air bubbles. Tap the jar gently against your working surface to remove the air from the jar. Top off with more brine if needed.
- Seal the jars. Place lids on your jars and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate. Store your pickled jar into the fridge and leave for a minimum of 48 hours. Your pickled jar will improve with flavour the longer they are in there so try and wait as long as you can before cracking them open!
Please note that these pickling jars will last up to about eight weeks. If you were to can them. They will remain unspoiled until opened.
I hope you enjoy this and have some fun trying out different flavours. Let me know what you have discovered making in the comments below.