Tag Archives | quick pickles

Cookbooks: The Quick Pickle Cookbook

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a blog post rounding up some useful cookbooks to help inspire us all during this month of quick pickles. In my research for that post, I came across a new-to-me book on the topic called The Quick Pickle Cookbook.

Written by Food & Wine alum Grace Parisi, this slim volume came out last fall and is a delightful addition to my personal pickle resource library. I think many of you will feel similarly.

The book is divided into two sections, with vegetable pickles coming first and fruit pickles coming second. Scattered amidst the pickle recipes are dishes designed to help you put your pickles (and their leftover brine) to work.

Some of the recipes I’ve marked to try include the Smoky Okra Pickles (page 47), the Pickled Pepper Romesco (page 85), the Bourbon-Pickled Blackberries (page 97), and the Lime-Chile Pickled Pineapple (page 135).

If you’ve really enjoyed this month’s quick pickle challenge, consider adding this one to your library for future idea fodder!

Comments { 1 }

Submit your April Mastery Challenge Projects!

Hello Mastery Challenge participants! We’re a little over halfway through April and the internet tells me that many of you have been busy making all manner of quick pickles!

In order to be counted in the final tally for the April challenge, please use the form below to submit your projects. Remember, you don’t have to provide a URL to be counted as a participant, but if you want me to link out to your project in the round-up, you do need to include the direct link to a blog or social media post.

Please get your projects submitted by April 28, so that I can get the round-up posted on April 30.

If the form below (it’s after the jump, if you’re reading this on the main page of the blog) isn’t working for you, you can also access the form by clicking this link.

Oh, and if you do post to social media, make sure to use the #fijchallenge tag to help spread the word of our preserving activities!

Continue Reading →

Comments { 0 }

Quick Pickled Radishes for the Mastery Challenge

We have a chain of stores in the Philadelphia called Produce Junction. Rarely more than a concrete box fitted out with some coolers and a couple of counters, the primary appeal of Produce Junction is that you can get large quantities of produce for very little money.

It’s not a store that’s on my regular shopping route, but I occasionally dash into one when I’m in the right neighborhood. And of course, end up going home with far more food that I actually need (which then sends me off into a fit of food preservation).

This last Monday, I found myself in the vicinity of a Produce Junction. I parked outside and made promises to myself that I wouldn’t overdo it. And while I was relatively restrained, I did bring home beets (both red and golden), snow peas, kale, cucumbers, bananas, oranges, lettuce, and a three pound bag of radishes.

Most of what I bought has been incorporated into our regular meals, but three pounds of radishes is a lot, even for this vegetable-loving household. Steps needed to be taken.

And thus, these quick pickles were born. I used the thin slicer blade on my food processor to break them down (having decided that washing the bowl was better than hand slicing the two pounds I used for this recipe).

Once they were sliced, I made a brine using rice wine vinegar, a little bit of agave, and salt. I tucked some sliced scallions and slivered ginger into the bottom of the jar and then packed the radishes on top.

Now, I made a giant portion of these quick pickles. I filled an entire half gallon jar. You can obviously reduce the recipe if you don’t want to have such a huge portion. However, this is a pickle that I can move through fast, as they go well with salads, grain bowls, tacos, and more.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 12 }

Quick Pickle Cookbook Recommendations

Our month of quick pickles for the Mastery Challenge is underway. While there is PLENTY of information about quick and refrigerator pickling available on the internet, I also have a short stack of books to recommend in case you’re hoping to dig deeper. (Amazon | Powell’s)

  • Pickled by Kelly Carrolata (Amazon | Powell’s) – This book runs the pickling spectrum. You’ll find everything from a class dill pickle to refrigerator herring. There are some recipes here that are designed for the water bath, but most are to be used and eaten promptly. Another fine feature of this volume is the fact that about a quarter of the recipes are ones to help you use up what you’ve put up.
  • Quick Pickles by Chris Schlesinger, John “Doc” Willoughby, and Dan George (Amazon | Powell’s) – This book is a celebration of the unprocessed pickle and serves up inspiration every time I flip through its pages. It does show its age a bit as far as the names of the recipes go (no one would name something Korean-Style Cabbage Pickle in these times, they’d simply call it Quick Kimchi), but the fact remains that it has plenty to offer.
  • The New Preserves by Anne V. Nelson (Amazon | Powell’s) – I bought this book for its pickled cantaloupe recipe and keep it around for its sweet pickled carrots. Just don’t make the three bean salad – there’s not nearly enough acid in that recipe for boiling water bath canning.
  • Asian Pickles by Karen Solomon (Amazon | Powell’s) – If you want to pursue authentic pickles from Japan, Korea, China, India, and Southeast Asian, you want Karen Solomon by your side. This book is a masterful piece of recipe development and curation. And since many of the traditional pickles from those parts of the world are kept with processing, much of the book is perfect for this month’s challenge.
  • The Pickling Handbook by Karin Bojs (Amazon | Powell’s) – I included this book in the round-up because it is beautiful. It offers a handful of pickling recipes, as well as bunch of recipes to help you use up the pickles you’ve made.
  • The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich (Amazon | Powell’s) – Linda Ziedrich is the high priestess of home food preservation (I anxiously await her forthcoming book on savory jams). The third edition of her pickling book came out last summer and is bursting with all manner of pickled delight. If you only own one book on pickling, this should be it.
  • The Pickled Pantry by Andrea Chesman (Amazon | Powell’s) – This is a big, friendly book with lots of pickle knowledge to offer. Andrea processes most of her pickles, but many of the recipes could be easily done as quick pickles. She’s got one section where the recipes are all scaled for a single jar, making them easy for the small batch aficionado.
  • Pickled & Packed by Valerie Aikman-Smith (Amazon | Powell’s) – Pickled rose petals! Boozy bread and butter pickles! Pickled makrut lime leaves! This book is the one I pull down when I need something to wake me up and get me thinking about pickling in a whole new way.
  • Beyond Canning by Autumn Giles (Amazon | Powell’s) – I love Autumn’s flavor sensibility. She has a way of combining ingredients that is creative, delicious, and accessible. Recipes in this book that would work particularly well for the challenge include Kombu Dashi Pickled Shitake Mushrooms, Curried Orange Pickle, Bloody Mary Pickled Eggs, and Quick Pickled Rhubarb.
Comments { 3 }

Quick Pickles for the April Mastery Challenge

Get your Mastery Challenge on with a batch of quick pickles!

Happy April, friends! This month, the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge is focusing on quick pickles. Also often known as refrigerator pickles, these pickles are typically made in small batches, involve a vinegar brine, need little time to age (often, they’re good to go in just a few hours), and spend the entirety of their lifetime in the fridge.

As in previous months, remember that the goal of this challenge is to help you expand your skills while creating something that you’ll actually use. So choose a project or recipe that will satisfy both your own learning and help you make something delicious.

Why a Quick Pickle?

While I like a preserved pickle as much as the next canner, there are a number of reasons why I often turn to small batches of quick pickles when I have produce that needs to be used up or kept from the compost pile.

They’re easy to make and you can make a batch as big or small as you want (years ago, I shared a small batch I’d made simply to keep a single English cucumber from going bad).

You can also be creative when you’re making a quick pickle. Because it’s not a going into a boiling water bath canner, you aren’t wedded to ratios of vinegar and water to ensure safety. You can reduce vinegar amounts and use lower acid vinegars like those made with rice wine (which are typically 4.2% vinegars rather than the 5% pickle-ready versions).

Quick pickles also have a firmer texture. If you’re someone for whom a pickle is judged on its snappy crunch, quick pickles are the way to go. Because they’re not exposed to the prolonged heat of a boiling water bath, they don’t soften nearly as much as a preserved pickle does.

What Should I Pickle Quickly?

The great thing about this style of pickling is that nearly every variety of fruit and vegetable is fair game. I often use this technique when I want pickled onions to heap on a burger, some tangy fruit to add to a grain salad, or a pickles to take to a potluck or cookout.

If you’re a fairly traditional pickle eater, consider starting with a basic batch of Garlic Dill Pickles. Snappy and bright, they’re one of my very favorite pickles. Another good option are thinly sliced carrots and radishes. I also turn to quick pickling when I want to use up odds and ends that might otherwise get trashed. The quick pickled chard stems at the end of this post are a good example of that kind of pickling. And while we’re not yet into the depths of zucchini season, keep this one tucked into the back of your mind when you’re swimming in zucchini.

On the fruity end of things, consider these pickled peaches. As written, it’s not a quick pickle recipe, but a quick version of those same peaches would have been sturdier and more textured. These pickled blueberries are much the same as the peaches.

And, a final one perfect for the Easter and Passover holidays coming soon. Pickled Red Beet Eggs!

And here are some suggestions from around the internet.

Quick Pickled Strawberries || Quick Pickled Red Onions || Quick Pickled Asparagus || Quick Pickled Carrot Spears || Quick Daikon and Carrot Pickle || Spicy Refrigerator Pickled Peppers || Quick Pickled Fennel with Orange || Quick Pickled Apple

 

To Blanch or Not to Blanch?

One of the nice things about making quick pickles is that they don’t require a lot of preparation. However, denser things like asparagus, carrots, green beans, and beets absorb pickle brine better after they’ve had 30-60 seconds in a pot of boiling water. It’s not absolutely required, but cuts down the amount of time they’ll need in order to take on the flavors you carefully tucked into your brine.

If you hate the idea of adding a blanching step, you can either skip it or slice and dice the vegetables into increasingly small bits. Just know that the finished pickles will need a few days longer in the fridge and that they’ll always retain an element of their raw texture.

Vinegars and Flavor Elements

Like I mentioned above, one of the best things about making quick pickles is that there’s so much space to be creative. You can use the wacky vinegars you picked up on vacation, or fill half the jar with fresh herbs to add flavor. My only word of advise is that less is often more when it comes to pickling. Don’t heap your entire herb garden into a single batch, hoping for greatness. Creative restraint is your friend.

How Long Can I Keep My Quick Pickles?

Provided that you took care to start with squeaky clean containers* and you have the available refrigerator space, quick pickles can last for months in the fridge. I once had a jar of quick pickled cucumbers that I kept for nearly a year and they were amazing when we finally unearthed the jar from the far reaches of the fridge.

However, if you’re opening and closing the jar on a regularly basis, they are best when eaten within four to six weeks of being made. After that they often soften and or develop mold. As always, the rule of thumb is that if you have any doubt about the safety of your pickles, throw them out.

*A great thing about quick pickling is that you can skip the traditional mason jars. Any vessel with a tightly fitting lid will do the job here (like the reused peanut butter jars pictured at the top of this post).

How Do I Use a Quick Pickle?

Quick pickles are great on sandwiches. They work beautifully chopped and tossed with a grain salad. I’m a big fan of adding them to potato salad. They brighten all manner of tuna salads and salmon cakes. Turn them into tartar sauce or Russian dressing.

What are you planning on making for this month’s quick pickle challenge?

Comments { 12 }

Slightly Sweet Zucchini Fridge Pickles

two jars of finished pickles

When I was in Portland a couple weeks ago, my parents’ garden was in full swing. There were pole beans, baby greens in a big tub, slicing cucumbers, and an endless number of zucchini. I spent most of my time there preoccupied by the zucchini and all the culinary options it offers.

three zucchini

I pan-fried thick rounds in olive oil and garlic one night. The next day I made a big batch of zucchini butter to spread on toast and toss with pasta. I also made a huge batch of quick zucchini pickles for my parents to layer into their sandwiches.

zucchini in food processor

One thing you might notice about this recipe is that it calls for whole grain mustard rather than dried mustard seeds. This choice was driven entirely by what my mom had available in the house. And truly, I think the prepared mustard was a really nice addition. It adds a bit of extra body to the liquid and a nice roundness to the finished pickle.

finished zucchini pickles top

Because I made these pickles with an eye towards sandwiches, the slices are pretty thin. I you prefer something a little chunkier, feel free to do a thicker cut. You could also process these in a boiling water bath. However, if you have the fridge space, the texture of the fridge version really is a bit more sturdy and toothsome (which I like). To each his own!

Continue Reading →

Comments { 16 }