By Kate Davies
Quick pickles, or ‘quickles’, are a great way to sneak some flair into your cooking. They are also a quick and relatively healthy snack. Store them in the refrigerator, because they are not preserved or canned. I make a simple brine with vinegar, salt, a touch of sugar, and whatever spices I feel like throwing in (mustard seeds, coriander, peppercorns, bay leaf, and star anise are my favorites). There’s lots of room to play around with the components to dial in your flavors. The following brine recipe calls for apple cider vinegar, but unseasoned rice or white vinegar work just as well.
-2 cups apple cider vinegar
-up to 2 cups water (I prefer a bit less)
-1 tbsp sugar
-2 tbsp kosher salt
-spices to taste
I pickle my fruits and veggies raw, with the exception of beets, which I steam. If your brine is hot enough and your ingredients are cut to the proper proportions, the brine does the ‘cooking’ for you. Below are some suggested ingredients for pickling, with some tips for cutting and sizing.
asparagus, green beans- trim the ends
red onion, cucumber, shallot – sliced very thin
carrots – shredded
cherries – pitted, whole
fennel – sliced
jalapeños – sliced
beets – steamed and cut into wedges
spicy chilis-whole or sliced
Cucumbers and shredded carrots can be be quick-pickled in a matter of minutes, if they are sliced finely. Other veg benefit from spending an hour or two in the cooling brine.
Use these tasty pickles in salads, on sandwiches, on cheese boards, or make a colorful plate of mixed pickles for an appetizer. You might just start pickling everything…