After a sober-ish January, I figured it best to start February by getting pickled. Super Bowl Sunday checked off that box pretty quick. Maybe it’s time to move my pickling from the bar to the garden. Whenever my garden or fridge has stragglers I love to take those veggies and do a swift pickling.
You don’t need to mess around with canning, these small batches are meant for the refrigerator and to quickly be put to use. This easy recipe is super zippy with no added sugar, a chile for a bit of heat and great flavor from a mix of vinegars.
Personally, I think cauliflower is the best veggie to pickle. It’s earthy with a bit of sweetness, absorbs all of the tasty juices but still stays crunchy (is it wrong to now be craving pickled cauliflower with my morning coffee??).
Feel free to use this recipe as a base for any winter vegetables — my sister Desiree told me she saw an Instagram snap of pickled Swiss chard stems. Of course, I had to try it out. Fantastic — crunchy and super flavorful. Instant upgrade to those Super Bowl Blood Mary’s — what we call a double pickle situation.
Once you have pickles going in your fridge you’ll find many way to use them. They’re a quick way to add tremendous brightness and flavor.
Here’s how I like to use them:
Small dice and mix into your favorite creamy potato salad.
Serve alongside a board of meats and cheeses — on occasion we do this for dinner!
Mince with olives, fresh parsley and olive oil and use as a sandwich spread. (Muffaletta anyone?)
Serve up pickled veggies alongside a rich meal, like brisket, to add some zesty flavor.
Use as a garnish for a dirty martini or Bloody Mary.
Refrigerator Pickled Veggies
Note: In the summer months use this recipe for cucumber and zucchini.
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
2 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 chile de arbol
1 small head of cauliflower cut in small florets
12 stems of Swiss chard cleaned, woody ends removed, sliced in half.
Add all ingredients, minus your vegetable of choice, to a small pot and bring to boil. Add your veggies and then take off the heat. Let cool to room temperature. Once the liquid is cool place the vegetables in a clean glass jar and cover with the liquid. They will last about two months in the fridge. Be sure to use a clean fork to remove the veggies from the jar to make them last longer.