Pickling is a great way to make your favorite fruits and vegetables last longer. Plus, having pickled produce at the ready makes spicing up virtually any meal that much simpler. Discover how easy the pickling process is, plus some of our favorite fruits and vegetables to pickle.
How to Pickle Your Favorite Foods
The pickling process can be as quick or as lengthy as possible. To get started, all you need is boiling water, sugar, salt, and vinegar. To get your pickling base started, a general rule is to use ⅔ vinegar for every ⅓ of water. This mixture keeps the pickling liquid acidic enough to pickle anything you desire. Don’t forget to add 1 tablespoon of salt and a ¼ cup of sugar to the liquid. You can change the sugar measurement based on your personal taste.
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Once your vinegar and water combo reaches a boil, you’re free to pour it into a mason jar (or whatever container you prefer). Then, add the flavors and seasons that you love to create the perfect pickling liquid. Some of our favorite pickling spices include dill, thyme, star anise, cloves, black peppercorn, and mustard. Let your creation cool before placing it in the refrigerator to marinate.
Outside of tasting delicious, pickling your food enables it to last longer. Pickling and canning fruits and vegetables helps extend their shelf life and makes them more appealing to even the pickiest eaters.
Six Foods to Pickle This Summer
Cucumbers are the most traditionally pickled vegetable. But in reality, you can pickle almost anything. You can even pickle eggs and fruit! These are some of the best foods for pickling in the summertime.
Carrots. Pickling carrots makes it easy to spice up any weeknight meal. From salads to salmon filets, pickled carrots give any dish an extra crunch and a bit of tang. Pair pickled carrots with your favorite cut of fish to add a pop of freshness to the dish.
Apples. Pickled apples are the perfect complement to your favorite smoked or grilled meats. Pair pickled apples with a salty, brined pork chop to balance out the flavors. They also work beautifully with charcuterie boards or to snack on throughout the week!
Onions. There’s nothing like a pickled onion to top a salad or sandwich. While you can pickle any onion you like, red onions make for the best pickled flavor. If you want to achieve a brighter red pickled onion, add a little grenadine to your pickling liquid.
Asparagus. If you enjoy asparagus, you’ve probably had it roasted or blanched as a side or maybe wrapped in bacon as an appetizer. But pickling asparagus is the perfect way to use a favorite veggie in a new way. Pickled asparagus pairs well in frittatas, salads, or even as a healthy, crunchy snack.
Garlic. You’ve heard of roasted garlic, but now try pickled garlic! Use pickled garlic in any dish to amp up the acidic flavor. Pickled garlic is also the perfect way to boost flavors in sauteed vegetables or mix it into your favorite pasta dishes and stir-fry to add more delicious flavor.
Watermelon. Pickled watermelon might sound strange, but it’s absolutely delicious served with a juicy piece of pork or on charcuterie boards next to hard cheeses like cheddar. It also plays nicely with summertime cocktails! Serve a slice of pickled watermelon along the rim of your favorite drinks for a unique twist.
When it comes to pickling fruits and vegetables, the options are endless. Try these six summer-friendly options, and you’ll be on your way to elevating all your seasonal snacks and meals. Remember that the longer you leave your fruits and veggies in their pickling jar, the more they’ll soak up the flavor and the better they’ll taste.