Pickled Strawberries

These pickled strawberries are bright, crunchy and versatile. They are a delicious addition to salads. They are great coarsely chopped, tossed with fresh herbs and served with seafood or use as an accompaniment on a cheese plate.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
6 ounces ice
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 ounce fresh ginger, sliced
1/2 cup lime juice
1 basket of strawberries cut into quarters

METHOD:

Place white and red vinegar and sugar-salt-spice ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Transfer the liquid to a container and add the ice. Cool the mixture completely.

Once chilled, add the lime juice then strain the pickling liquid over the strawberries pressing down on them gently to submerge. Allow them to pickle until desired flavor is achieved.

SOURCE: Recipe from Kendra Baker, The Picnic Basket

Easy Pickled Beets

Tangy pickled beets are always a welcome treat with a meal or served on a salad.

INGREDIENTS:

8 medium fresh beets
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
1-1/2 teaspoons whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt

METHOD:

Scrub beets and trim tops to 1 inch. Place beets in a large sauce pan. Add water to cover beets. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 25-30 minutes or until beets are tender tender. Drain beets and allow to cool.

Peel beets and slice into uniform sized slices. Place in a bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, cloves, allspice and salt. Bring to a boil; boil 5 minutes. Pour over beets. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Drain before serving.

Beets will keep well for up to two weeks in the fridge.

YIELD:  6-8 servings

Quick Pickled Carrots Scented with Lavender and Fennel

A variation on a quickle, this uses a hot brine to soften up the carrots a little. I enjoy using lavender in savory dishes, and find lavender and fennel go well together.

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups vinegar, rice or white wine
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt, crushed
1 teaspoon culinary lavender
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bunch Chantenay carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch thick coins

METHOD:
Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil until the sugar and salt disappear, then add the fennel seed, thyme, bay leaf, and pepper. Boil 1 minute.

Add the lavender and the carrots, and boil 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Cover the carrots and refrigerate until cold. If you are going to keep the carrots for more than a day or two, remove the carrots from the solution and strain the solution and discard the herbs and spices before returning the carrots to the solution. This will keep the lavender from becoming overwhelming.

Remove carrots from solution and drain before serving. Carrots should keep around 2 weeks.

Chef’s Notes:
If you like a more vinegary pickle, decrease the water to 1/2 cup. If you like them a little sweeter, increase the sugar content up to 1 cup. You could try adding other vegetables such as blanched (par cook them 1 minute) and peeled pearl onions, or the white parts of scallions to the mix.

YIELD: Serves 4

Quick Pickled Fennel

If it sits still long enough, I’m bound to use this quick pickling technique on most anything it seems. It works beautifully with fennel, giving a sweet and sour taste that is reminiscent of a mild sauerkraut. Simple, quick, and versatile. Use it to top a salad, or put it in sandwiches. It’s great on grilled fish or roast pork as well. If you heat it up it can be used like sauerkraut with sausages and potatoes. Use it for topping Swedish crispbread with coarse mustard and pâté and crispbread with labne and smoked salmon. The fennel/licorice flavor is enhanced with a pinch of fennel seeds, but it is not “in your face” fennel/licorice flavor. This is one of those times when you’d like to use your fixed blade slicer.

INGREDIENTS:
1 fennel bulb, stalks and fronds removed (and reserved for something like fennel broth or oil)
Salt as needed-around a ½ tablespoon
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup rice vinegar
1/8 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed or powdered

METHOD:
Put the sugar and vinegar into a jar with a tight seal and shake like mad until the sugar dissolves, or put the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add the fennel seeds to the solution and vigorously shake/whisk until the solution starts to taste of fennel seeds.

Split the fennel bulb through the root and trim away most of the core. Using a fixed blade slicer or very sharp, longer knife, slice the bulb across the width very thinly-1/8th inch or thinner.

Put the fennel into a non-reactive bowl and sprinkle lightly with the salt, tossing with the fingers to get the salt all over the fennel. Use just enough salt to get all of the fennel. Toss to separate all the slices of fennel and work the salt in a little. You should feel the slices begin to wilt a little. Set aside for 8 minutes.

After 8 minutes, place the fennel into a strainer and rinse. Set the strainer into a bowl just smaller than the strainer and fill it with water, swishing the strainer with the fennel in it around in the water. Use the fingers to work the fennel, getting all the salt off. Drain and refill, then repeat for three times total. Taste the fennel-there should be no salt remaining on the outside, and the flavor should not be overly salty either. A little saltiness is okay. Transfer to the pickling solution and submerge the fennel.

The fennel should be ready to use within 10-15 minutes. Store in the refrigerator, it will keep for 4-5 days.

Chef’s Notes:
If you want to bump up the fennel flavor, add a few drops of pastis to the solution, or other fennel/licorice flavored liqueur. You could also toast a few fennel seeds to go with the un-toasted ones already used, or you could add a few anise seeds to round out the flavor profile. You could add herbs that that are complementary to fennel as well, such as tarragon or lavender.

YIELD: 1-2 cups fennel quickles

Beet Kvass

Beetroot JuiceKvass is an earthy healthy elixir of fermented beet juice that originated in the Ukraine. Use beet kvass to add a little zing to salad dressings (use like vinegar), sauces or soups like Borscht — its ruby color is spectacular.

INGREDIENTS:

3 large organic beets, peeled and chopped coarsely (do NOT grate!)
1/4 cup kefir whey or juice from sauerkraut
1 tablespoon sea salt or Himalayan salt
Filtered, non-chlorinated water
Half gallon glass jar

METHOD:

Place chopped beets in bottom of half gallon jar. Add whey or sauerkraut juice and salt.

Fill jar with filtered water and stir.

Cover with a towel or cheesecloth and leave on the counter at room temperature for two days to ferment. Transfer to fridge.

To start the second batch of kvass, save at least a cup of the first batch as an innoculent.

Consume as desired — we enjoy 3-4 ounces each morning and evening.

Southern Pickled Peaches

Pickled peaches are an old Southern favorite. They’re great added to salads or served as an accompaniment with grilled meats or a Sunday supper pork roast.

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
15 whole cloves
4 – 4 1/2 pounds fresh peaches, blanched and peeled, cut in half and pitted (or cut into slices, your preference)
5 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
5 pint jars, lids, and rings, sterilized

METHOD:

Pour sugar, vinegar and water into a large saucepan, and stir to dissolve sugar. Add cinnamon sticks and cloves, and bring to a boil. Cover and boil for about 5 minutes. Strain out the cloves and cinnamon sticks, or you can leave them in for a stronger flavor. Add peaches, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for for 20 minutes, or until peaches are tender.

Pack peaches carefully into sterile jars and top with liquid to 1/2 inch from the rim. Put one cinnamon stick into each jar, if desired. Wipe the rims with a clean dry cloth, and seal with lids and rings. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to seal.

Pickled Beets

Pickled-beets-1

Pickled-beets-1

This recipe was given to me many years ago by an elderly farmers wife and has been one of my ‘must do’ yearly canning recipes. If you have a large amount of beets, just keep repeating brine until your beets are all gone! Enjoy!” — SHARON HOWARD 

INGREDIENTS:

10 lbs. fresh small beets, stems removed
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon pickling salt
1 quart white vinegar
1/4 cup whole cloves
10 (1 pint) jars, lids, and rings, sterilized

METHOD:

Place beets in a large stockpot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes depending on the size of the beets. If beets are large, cut them into quarters. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the beet water, cool and peel.

Sterilize jars and lids by immersing in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Fill each jar with beets and add several whole cloves to each jar.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, beet water, vinegar, and pickling salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Pour the hot brine over the beets in the jars, and seal lids.

Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.

YIELD: Makes 10 (1 pint) jars

New to canning? Watch this video about how to make pickled beets!

SOURCE: Allrecipes.com

Best Ever Dill Pickles

Pickles-1

INGREDIENTS:

Pickles
Fresh dill, heads & several inches of stems shaken free of bugs
Uniformly sized freshly picked cucumbers, washed, scrubbed, blossom end removed * (judge amount of cucumbers needed, depending on size)
1 garlic clove (or more) for each jar

Brine
8 1/2 cups filtered water
2 1/4 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt

7 wide-mouth quart jars, new lids and screw bands (rings)

PREPARATION FOR CANNING:

Wash 7 wide-mouth quart jars in hot, soapy water (or dishwasher), rinse and fill with boiling hot water; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, fit lids and rings together, cover with water, bring to a simmer.

METHOD:

In a large pot, bring water, vinegar and salt to boil – turn off the heat. Set aside.

Place a layer of dill at the bottom of each jar, one garlic clove, and then TIGHTLY pack the cucumbers into the jar up to the NECK of the jar (depending on size you may get two nice layers with a few small cucumbers in the top). Squeeze cucumbers into the jar tightly – uniform size helps. Add a few TINY sprigs of dill on the top and another garlic clove, if desired.

Once jars are filled, pour the brine over the cucumbers leaving half-inch head space in each jar. Wipe rims with clean paper towel and add lid and ring on top of each jar, tightening evenly.

Place jars in a water bath canner filled half way with very warm (120° to 140°F) tap water. Then, add hot water to a level 1 inch above jars. Heat the water enough to maintain 180° to 185°F water temperature for 30 minutes. Check with a candy or jelly thermometer to be certain that the water temperature is at least 180°F during the entire 30 minutes. Temperatures higher than 185°F may cause unnecessary softening of pickles. Temperatures lower than 180°F will result in an unsafe product.

Remove jars from hot water bath, and set on a dishtowel on the kitchen counter to cool undisturbed for 24 hours.

Check for proper seal (slight indented lid). Carefully wash jars, remove screw bands, dry, label with name and date, and store in cool dark place.

NOTES:

  • When washing and scrubbing cucumbers, sort them into piles by size. Using uniform sizes not only makes your jars look nicer, it makes for easier packing, too.
  • The above water bath canning method described in the recipe is called Low Temperature Pasteurization. According to current guidelines, it results in a better product texture, but MUST be carefully managed to avoid possible spoilage.
  • For optimum shelf-stable safety of any fresh-pack dill pickles, the jars should be processed in a boiling water bath covered by at least an inch of water. Ten minutes for pints and 15 minutes for quarts.

Best Bread and Butter Pickles

Friends rave that these are the best bread and butter pickles they’ve ever had! This recipe makes 8 quarts – but be prepared to give a jar to everyone who tastes them. Buy the freshest cucumbers possible for making pickles. For brining, use a large plastic bin that can be purchased at a restaurant supply store. It comes very in handy for pickling and fermentation projects. Also, a commercial sized stainless steel bowl works well, too.

INGREDIENTS:

25 cucumbers, thinly sliced*
6 onions, thinly sliced
2 green bell peppers, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup canning or pickling salt (use non-iodized salt only!)
Ice to cover cucumber mixture
3 cups cider vinegar
5 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon ground turmeric

*Do not purchase commercially waxed cucumbers for pickling. Be sure to discard the blossom and stem ends of the cucumber.

METHOD:

Sterilize 8 quart jars, lids and screw bands. Side aside.

In a HUGE bowl (or tub), mix together cucumbers, onions, green bell peppers, garlic and salt. Cover mixture with 2 inches of crushed or small cubed ice. Allow to stand approximately 3 hours.

In a large saucepan, combine the cider vinegar, white sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, whole cloves and turmeric. Bring to a boil.

Bring water in hot water bath canner to the boil.

Drain liquid and remove any ice left from the cucumber mixture and rinse thoroughly. Distribute cucumber mixture into sterilized quart jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. (Don’t pack cucumber mixture too tightly.)

Ladle boiling vinegar mixture into each jar, filling to 1/2-inch from top. Release air bubbles by inserting a flat plastic (not metal) spatula between the food and jar. Slowly turn jar and move spatula up and down to release air bubbles. Adjust headspace, then clean jar rim with a dampened paper towel. Place lid, gasket side down, on jar sealing surface and add screw band.

Place jars in hot water bath canner. Add more boiling water, if needed, so the water level is at least 1 inch above jar tops. Turn heat to its highest position until water boils vigorously. Cover canner, set timer for processing time required, and adjust heat setting to maintain a gentle boil. Boil for 15 minutes.

When processing time is complete, remove jars and place upright about 2 inches apart on wire racks or towels. Let cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours.

Before storing, remove the screw bands of two-piece lids, recheck the seals and wipe the jars clean. Then label the jars with the name of the product, processing method used and date.

Store pickled products in a cool, dark, dry place.

YIELD: 8 – 1 quart jars

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Crunchy, tangy-sweet watermelon rind pickles are the perfect foil for smoked meats.

INGREDIENTS:

One 5-pound watermelon
10 cups water
1/4 cup salt, divided
3 cups sugar
2 cups apple-cider vinegar
3 slices fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons pickling spice
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Four 1/2-pint canning jars

METHOD:

Cut watermelon flesh from rind, leaving a thin layer of pink on rind. Set aside flesh for another use. Using a sharp knife, cut off green outer skin; discard. Cut rind into 1/2-inch-wide strips; Cut strips into 3/4-inch pieces.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil over high heat.

Add rind and 3 tablespoons salt to the pot of boiling water. Boil until rind starts to soften, about 4 minutes; drain.

In a large saucepan, mix remaining salt, sugar, vinegar, ginger root, pickling spice, allspice, cinnamon and cayenne pepper; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.

Add rind to the saucepan. Place a lid for a smaller saucepan over rind to immerse rind completely in liquid; cover the saucepan and simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, divide the watermelon rind evenly among four 1/2-pint canning jars. Continue simmering liquid in the saucepan until syrupy, about 20 minutes; let cool completely.

Pour cooking liquid evenly among the 4 jars; refrigerate overnight. Store watermelon pickles in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

SOURCE: Unknown–old family recipe probably from Georgia.