Are these not the prettiest pickled veggies you have ever seen?
I am in love with all these colors, flavors, and pretty much everything about this basic go-to recipe.
I’ve always wondered about pickling veggies (and fruits too), but until recently I’ve never had the urge to try out any pickling of my own. I am a huge, huge fan of pretty much all fruits and veggies, but up until now I either ate them raw, sautéed, or roasted. With the Farmers Markets bursting with fresh produce, I was recently inspired to try my hand at pickling. I did some research and tried out a few different flavor combos and I’m really excited to share this simple, basic recipe that everyone should have on hand this summer.
Whether you’re up to your ears in produce from you garden, CSA box, or local farmers market, this is the perfect recipe to use up all that produce…especially if it’s at the stage where it has seen better days.
The formula for pickling is really pretty simple. All you’ll need is vinegar, water, salt, sugar, fresh herbs and spice flavorings. My recipe uses apple cider vinegar, water, kosher salt, and honey. I’m leaving the flavorings up to you so that you can make your pickled veggies according to your preferred taste. I used a mix of thyme, dill, basil, garlic, and fresh peppercorns. Feel free to have fun with your flavoring combos though, experiment and see what you like best.
I did a quick pickle and allowed my veggies to sit for about 4 hours, but the longer you let them sit, the more flavor they will develop.
Here are a few tips/tricks for pickling success…
–> use a mix of your favorite veggies. I used beets, carrots, asparagus, cucumbers, purple cauliflower, and bell peppers. Other veggies that would work well would be, zucchini, summer squash, ginger, red onion, radishes and green beans (blanch these first to preserve their color).
–> don’t be afraid to try pickling fruits. I pickled strawberries and cherries, but peaches, nectarines, and berries would all be great. Just be sure when you are pickling fruit to pair it with sweet flavors and maybe even up the amount of honey in the recipe from 2 to 3 tablespoons. If you’d like to use herbs, I used thyme or basil and thought they worked great.
–> both garlic, ginger, and thinly sliced onions can add a lot of flavor to your pickles, but be sure to use them to your liking, as sometime the garlic and onions can overpower the flavors of the veggies or fruits. I love onions paired with cucumber, garlic paired with beets, and ginger paired with peaches!
–> try using a variety of fresh herbs to flavor your pickles. I like using thyme, dill, basil, oregano, and rosemary.
–> for spices, use the flavorings you love most. I like a little heat, so I used fresh chili peppers, and peppercorns. Other spices that work well are coriander seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, and crushed red chile flakes.
Be sure to check out my Farmers Market Pickled Crudité Platter for a fun way to present these pickled veggies!
Quick Pickled Veggies
- fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, basil, and dill
- 2-4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 teaspoon each black peppers and coriander seeds
- crush red pepper flakes or sliced chile peppers (optional)
- 2 pounds fresh fruits and veggies such as carrots, beets, cauliflower, asparagus, cherries, and strawberries
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons honey or sugar
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
1. If using, divide the herbs - garlic, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and chile flakes, among glass jars. Pack the fruits and veggies into the jars, packing them in tight, but leaving a 1/2 inch space at the top of the jar.
2. In a large pot, bring the vinegar, water, salt, and honey to a boil over high heat, stirring until the salt has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice. Pour the pickling brine over the fruits and veggies, filling the jars up to 1/2 inch from the top. Seal the jars and let them cool at room temperature. Chill at least 4 hours and up to 2 months. The longer the fruits and veggies sit, the more flavor they will develop.
*Total time for recipe includes 4 hours chill time, but the more chill time the better