I’ve been having an all-out love affair with pickles ever since the great pickled onions fling of 2012. ( My children still speak of it in hushed tones.)
Since then, every vegetable I see is in danger of becoming a pickle. I especially enjoy quick pickles (AKA Quickles) because . . . well . . . I’m into nearly instant gratification.
You too? Read on.
Some veggies are simply asking to be pickles. I tend to habitually buy the veggies that go on sale: broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber and onions and they happen to be perfect for quick pickling. I also love that quickling adds tremendous versatility to everyday veggies.
End of summer excess like zucchini, summer squash and tomato are great candidates for quickles.
This is also a fun project to do with the kiddies. They can cut softer veggies (with supervision, of course) and can help make the brine by measuring and stirring. You’ll have to pour the hot liquid and put on the lids. They can enjoy tasting the difference pickling gives to the flavor of the veggies. Plus – this may get them to eat more veggies!
Just because I don’t officially “can” pickles doesn’t mean I don’t adore canning jars they come in handy for so many uses . The best sources for theses are yard sales, thrift shops, and “end of season” sales at discount stores.
But if you’re willing to pay for convenience, here’s a deal that will ship them right to your front door. Ball Jar 1pt Ball Mason Jars, Case of 12
Also, what would we do without our Mandoline slicers? They’re indispensable when you need a bunch of veggies sliced evenly and you want it done fast.
Mandoline Slicer Kainnt Adjustable Mandoline with 5 Thickness Settings
Any Vegetable Quickles
What I love about this technique is you can make just one jar of quickles, or a whole bunch. It’s up to you.
To figure the amount of brine you need to make; slice your intended veggie and stuff them in the jar(s). Really pack them in there. Pour water in the filled jar(s) until it’s full. Pour off the water into a measuring cup and note the amount. Pour off half the water and replace with vinegar and proceed, following the directions below.
What You’ll Need:
Vegetables of your choice – like cucumber, onion, radishes, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower.
To make 2 cups of brine:
- 1 cup vinegar – white, cider, white wine, rice or any combo to total one cup
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh or dried spices and/or herbs – I like dried pickling spice blend
Wash and slice your veggies and pack them into meticulously cleaned jars.
To prepare the brine; pour the vinegar and water into a sauce pan with the rest of the ingredients (salt, sugar and spices) bring to a boil.
Now you simply pour this hot vinegar mixture right into the jar with the veggies.
Place a lid on the jar and store in the fridge overnight.
I know, right?
The longer you let them set the “pickle-ier” they will be. Harder veggies like cauliflower and carrot take longer to develop flavor. Softer veggies like cucumber are ready to rock within hours.
Keep refrigerated and use within 6 months.
What else can I do with quickles?
If eating pickles by the bowlful isn’t your thing you can sprinkle them like fairy dust to add excitement to meals. Use pickled onion to make a burger even better, serve zippy zucchini with grilled fish or chicken. Chop mixed pickled veggies in a food processor with mayo to make dip or sandwich spread. Pickled broccoli and cauliflower make lovely chilled appetizers for a summer BBQ and a jar of quickles makes a lovely hostess gift.
As summer winds to a close, the end of summer bounty is begging to be preserved. What better way to make summer last? Right now, you’re never more than one day away from crisp, cool, take-all-the-credit, I made these with love, pickles.
I hope you agree, that’s a dangerously good thing.