Like many of the recipes I’ve posted on this site over the years, this pickle is a highly practical one. It’s not really a looker, and it probably won’t be the thing you tuck into gift bags, but it has the ability to use up a lot of produce, and makes edible many of the scraps and bits that might have otherwise ended up in the garbage.
I also appreciate it because all the various vegetables are chopped into similar sizes, so you can spoon it directly into vinaigrettes, or pasta, grain, or potato salad with zero additional work.
Every time I make a batch, it is different. The version you see pictured here included asparagus, garlic scapes, kale stems, and broccoli stems. At other points in the year, I’ve made it with various green/purple/wax/flat beans, chard stems, fennel, minced zucchini, radishes, and the thick stems from beet greens. Essentially, you gather up things of similar densities, chop them into small bits, and pickle the heck out of them.
This is a great one to have in your back pocket when your garden starts producing like crazy, or your CSA share becomes unmanageably abundant. This batch was made with some of the goodies from the Philly Foodworks box I got back in the beginning of June (I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a while now).
I call it a salad pickle because I find that it most often gets used in a salad of some kind. In other regions of the country, you might find something similar being called a relish or chow chow (I don’t think anyone would hang the title piccalili on this one, but you never know).
Typically when I make this pickle, I keep things simple and add just mustard seed, red pepper flakes, and garlic cloves for flavor. This time around I skipped the garlic cloves because so much of the vegetable matter was made up of garlic scapes. It would also be good with dill seed, coriander seed, and black peppercorns. I make mine without any sweetener, but a little sugar or honey in the brine would be just fine.
Do any of you make something similar?
Salad Pickles (aka Waste Prevention Pickles)
- 2 pounds hardy leftover vegetables like asparagus, beans, scapes, or stems
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons pickling or fine grain sea salt
- 6 garlic cloves
- 3 teaspoons mustard seed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 3 pint jars.
- Wash, trim, and chop the vegetables you're using (go for similar sizes so that everything pickles at the same rate).
- Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a large saucepan. Set it over high heat and bring it to a boil.
- Once the brine is boiling, add all the chopped vegetables. Cook just until the brine returns to a boil and then remove the pot from the heat.
- Pull the jars out of the canner. Divide the garlic cloves, mustard seeds, and red pepper flakes between the jars.
- Using a slotted spoon, fill the jars with the chopped vegetables, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
- Fill the jars with brine, taking care to retain the proper headspace.
- Tap the jars gently on the countertop to loosen air bubbles. Use a wooden or plastic chopstick to remove any stubborn ones.
- Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process the pickles in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- When time is up, remove jars from the canner and set on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
- Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
- I like to give this pickle at least a week of rest before I crack open a jar.