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House-Made Pickles - Tips And Recipes

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August 5, 2017 / International / By
ETG - Food For Thought

Pickling means preserving foods, usually vegetable and sometimes fruits, in salt brine or vinegar. This ancient culinary craft is spread across cultures from all over the globe and it is a great way to preserve summer veggies and fruits for winter.

In some cultures pickling is for vegetables only, but there are various countries that use pickling as a method to preserve some types of fruits, such a watermelon (watermelon rind to be more specific). You might argue that watermelon is not necessarily a fruit since it is a melon and most melons are vegetables. Botanically, watermelon is a fruit but frankly, it doesn’t really matter in our current topic since watermelon can be pickled and it is considered a winter staple in certain countries. Russia loves its pickled watermelon and so do other East European countries, but Western countries are not too fond of the flavors so the best way to find out if you like or hate pickled watermelon is to try it out. Tomatoes are other fruits that are pickled in certain countries. This might not seem too odd, although tomatoes are fruits, they are used in savory dishes or served in vegetable salads not in fruit salads. Most pickle fans are familiar with pickled green tomatoes but red tomatoes can also be pickled.

Some pickle recipes require a lot of time and effort however, you can make pickling a summer afternoon process if you follow our tips and the simple recipes we included in this article.

Tips For House-Made Pickles

Step 1: Choose your veggies and/fruits. Most vegetables are great pickled but before deciding what vegetables you need to include in your afternoon project, consider these two recommendations:

  • Choose vegetables or fruits that are naturally firm. Pick only fresh veggies and fruits since they will stay crispier;
  • Trim off steams before pickling. The enzymes in the steams can lead to mush and soft pickles;

Step 2: Decide if you want to pickle your veggies as whole or if you want to cut them into pieces. Some veggies are ok as whole while others need to be cut into small pieces, but you can cut cucumbers into pieces too if you want, since the brine will be absorbed faster.

Step 3: Think outside the box. As we already mentioned, pickling works for all kinds of vegetables so if you are bored of the classics, try different veggies. Red tomatoes and watermelon are two options, but you can also try Brussel sprouts pickles, corn off the cob pickles and even cherry pickles.

Step 4: Make the brine. We highly recommend looking for recipes for the veggies you chose since some veggies and fruits require white vinegar or cider vinegar while others don’t.

House-Made Pickles Recipes

We included here some recipes for you but there are numerous others you can try. Here are our recommendations:

Spicy Cucumber Pickle from Jamie Oliver

Russian Pickled Watermelon from Saveur.com

 

Pickled Red Tomatoes Recipe from Serious Eats

Pickled Brussels Sprouts from Eating Well

Quick-Pickled Red Onions from The Kitchn

Pickled Carrot Sticks from Epicurious

Pickled Cauliflower from Fresh Preserving

Pickled Purple Cabbage from Mountain Mama Cooks

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