Tag Archives | quick pickles

Quick Pickled Romanesco Broccoli

pickles after one week

A couple weeks back, I bought a bright green head of romanesco broccoli. It was more money than I should have spent on a single handful of produce, but ever since trying it a few years back as a pickle on the Farmhouse Platter at Supper, I’ve had a weakness for it.

romanesco broccoli

I like it best as a quick pickle (also known as a refrigerator pickle), because it stays most crunchy and crisp that way. You also retain more color if you keep it out of a boiling water bath canner.


It’s an easy pickle to make. Take on head of romanesco broccoli and break it into florets. Because of the spiral arrangement of the little fractal heads, it typically breaks apart quick easily. Place spices in the bottom of the jar and pack the florets in on top (my particular head fit perfectly into a pint and a half).

pouring pickling liquid

Heat apple cider vinegar, water and salt together just until the salt dissolves. Pour the pickling liquid over the florets and use a chopstick to ease out any air bubbles.


Place a lid on the jar. Once it is cool, pop it into the fridge and let it sit for about a week before beginning to munch. You’ll end up with deeply tangy, crunchy pickles. This time of year, when soups and braises appear on our weekly menu with greater frequency, having these in the fridge makes me very happy. The recipe is after the jump.


Winners! Jennifer (#455) wins the set of Weck Jars and the ladle from Kaufmann Mercantile. Jan Jack (#183) wins the Jars Go To tote from A Tiny Forest.

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Pickled Baby Pattypan Squash

pickled pattypans

You might recognize this picture. I included it in my vacation post on Monday. Several people wrote in, hoping that I might post the recipe. I’m happy to do so, though I must confess that it’s barely a recipe at all.

I have a basic formula I follow for quick, refrigerator-type pickles like this. It’s one cup vinegar (any 5% acidity vinegar will do), one cup water and one tablespoon pickling salt (sea salt is also fine). This is typically enough for a quart of pickles, which a little bit leftover. It can be expanded or contracted as needed.

fresh baby pattypans

Spices can be anything you like. For this particular batch of pickles, I used a generous tablespoon of pickling spice. Depending on what you’re pickling, you can add garlic, peppercorns, red chili flakes, dill seed, mustard seed, etc.

After you pour the brine over the veg, place a lid on the jar and let is sit on the counter until it’s cool. Once it’s returned to room temperature, pop the jar into the fridge and let it sit for at least 48 hours before proceeding to munch.

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Asian-Inspired Refrigerator Pickles

finished fridge pickles

I had the first incarnation of these pickles at a potluck I hosted nearly two years ago. My friend Wendy brought them to the party, and by the end of the night, the once overflowing bowl was reduced to a puddle of brine and with three little spears bobbling amidst the hot peppers and onion slivers. Crisp, fragrant and flavorful, they seemed to pair perfectly with every other dish on the table.

When the evening wrapped up, Wendy gave me permission to pour the leftover brine into a jar to save and reuse. The next day I added a fresh batch of cucumber spears and let the sweet/sour liquid work its magic. These days, I make these quick fridge pickles regularly during the spring, summer and fall, when kirby cucumbers are readily available (these do okay when made with English cucumbers, but not so well when made with waxed cukes). The brine can be reused several times (trash it when it gets cloudy).

Feel free to alter this recipe to your liking. Wendy’s original recipe calls for shallots and cilantro. I used scallions and mint because that’s what I had. If you don’t want your pickles to be too spicy, use half a hot pepper (or none at all if you can stand the heat). The recipe is after the jump.

ingredients for fridge pickles

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Pickled Asparagus

Asparagus Tops

Oh asparagus! How I avoided pickling you. I kept you waiting in the fridge for over a week, as you anticipated your spicy vinegar bath. And yet, already you’ve given me so much! After just two days of pickling, you are the perfect balance of crisp and pucker. You make the perfect sidecar to just about any meal. I am enamored.

Blanched Asparagus

That’s right kids, the pickled asparagus has turned out to be a riotous success, despite the fact that I used asparagus that was a tiny bit past its prime (life, why much you always throw distractions into my canning schedule?) and forgot to include the peppercorns in the brine.

Pickling brine

I based my recipe on one from a really terrific book about Southern-style canning called Putting Up. It’s by Stephen Palmer Dowdney, who ran a successful canning business in Charleston, SC for many years (although I’m far more impressed by the fact that he was a college classmate of Pat Conroy, who is one of my favorite authors).

If you’re looking to expand your food preservation reference library (I make it sound so official, don’t I), this is definitely a volume to consider. I like how it’s organized by month, as well as the fact that it has really excellent details on the basics of canning.

Packing jars

Before we get into the recipe, I want to take a moment to encourage all of you to consider pickling something. Possibly even this week. The reason? It is so very simple. You can prep just a single jar at a time, which makes it the perfect first canning project.

Honestly, you don’t even need to do the hot water bath if you’re just making a jar or two for yourself, you can just stash your pickles in the fridge. Making pickles will build your canning confidence and get you excited for more ambitious projects. I’m certainly chomping at the bit for my next pickling project (onions and then okra). If I’ve got you sufficiently excited, my favorite refrigerator pickle recipe is right here.

I’m not going to be giving a jar of these pickles away, since this whole pickling thing is new to me, I want to wait and make sure they continue to be good for the weeks to come before I start handing them out, all willy nilly. However, do not despair. I’ve got another giveaway up my sleeve that will be coming soon.

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