The pickle tends to be an afterthought. Always playing the same supporting role at the deli, always pushed to the back of your refrigerator. For shame!
Pickling is what kept your ancestors alive. For centuries it was the best way to preserve food for long stretches of time. Pickles filled the bellies of hungry sailors and journeymen. They kept families nourished during the cold winter months.
But besides scurvy prevention, pickles are the ultimate snack. Who doesn’t like the sharp tang and snappy crunch of a good gherkin? It goes well with anything: grilled meat, a salad, a beer, or a cocktail. What’s more, you can pickle nearly all summer produce — Cabbage? Pickle it. Strawberries? Pickle those too! — and there’s really nothing to it. “You just need a cucumber, a little vinegar, some salt, 30 minutes, and you have a pickle,” says Karen Solomon, author of Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It. See? Hardly any effort for months of briny goodness.
- One pint-sized mason jar
- A knife
(Really! That’s it!)
Quick Pickle Pointers
Chop Up Your Produce
Wash and slice up your ingredients. The smaller the pieces, the shorter the pickling process. Sturdier veggies can be blanched (boiled for tenderness).
Your brine — a solution of liquid, spices and salt — is what will give your pickles their flavour. You can mix and match these ingredients for the combo you prefer.