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Make Your Vegetables Last Longer: Pickle Them!
Keeping produce fresh can be a challenge. One solution: Pickling.
08-28-2020
Cook's Country

We’re all looking to spend less time in the grocery store these days, which presents a particular problem for produce. It’s one thing to stock up on canned or frozen goods, which can keep for a long time. It’s another thing to bring home a beautiful head of cauliflower or bunch of carrots. For fresh produce, the clock is already ticking before you get home.

One solution: Pickle them! Pickled vegetables make great garnishes for tacos, toppings for sandwiches, or just snacks. Pickling your vegetables will add at least one week to their life.

Our secret weapon here is seasoned rice vinegar, which you can find in the Asian section of the grocery store. Its balanced combination of tangy, salty, and sweet means you don’t have to create a brine from scratch.

Each of these recipes is designed for a 1-quart glass jar.

1. Quick Carrot Pickles

Besides adding epic crunch and sharp flavor to your carrot spears, pickling them also sets their color into an almost electric orange. Set these out with a nice creamy cheese for a pre-supper nosh. [GET THE RECIPE

What You’ll Need
1 pound carrots
5 sprigs fresh tarragon
1 ¼ cups seasoned rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

2. Quick Giardiniera

This fresh mix with roots in Italian-American cuisine, is fantastic on a submarine sandwich, or piled onto a hot dog. It also makes a lively, appealing side to grilled or seared steaks. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need
6 ounces cauliflower
1 celery rib
1 carrot
1 ¼ cups seasoned rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

3. Quick Fennel Pickles

The fresh, licorice flavor of fennel makes a beautiful counterpoint to the sharp vinegar flavors that pickling brings. This is a favorite workday snack, crunchy and flavorful. A good one to crunch on while taking care of business. [GET THE RECIPE


What You’ll Need
1 fennel bulb
1 ¼ cups seasoned rice vinegar
1 orange
2 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

4. Quick Red Onion and Jalapeño Pickles

The sharp, spicy onion and chilies make this an absolute must at your next taco or fajita dinner. Set these out with other toppings like lime wedges, crumbled cheese, avocado, cilantro, and so on. We also love these pickles on a pulled pork sandwich. [GET THE RECIPE]


What You’ll Need
1 red onion
2 jalapeño chilies
1 ¼ cups seasoned rice vinegar
1 lime
2 garlic cloves
5 allspice berries
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

5. Quick Bread and Butter Pickles

The classic cucumber and dill combination. This staple is a welcome addition to burgers, sandwiches, or just for snacking straight from the jar. [GET THE RECIPE


What You’ll Need
1 pound pickling cucumbers
5 sprigs fresh dill
1 ¼ cups seasoned rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds