Hooks for Cooks™

Pickled VeggiesDo you often find yourself with an array of miscellaneous vegetables that you can’t bear to waste? This often happens to me when I survey the veggie bin.

Of course, I’ve learned to use these bits and bobs in soups, stir fries and chop chop salads, but I’ve also started making quick and easy refrigerated pickled vegetables.

It’s a  simple  operation that results in a low fat, high fiber,  easy to eat snack.  And, my version simply stores in the fridge for a few days, which means I don’t need to get involved with hot water baths and sterilizing  jars.

Here’s what I did last night:  I had some cauliflower, some broccoli florets, a red bell pepper, and one homegrown cucumber kicking around.  So I grabbed a large one quart Luminarc preserving jar. I cut the veggies into bite size pieces and packed them loosely into my French jar. A few whole garlic cloves  and a bay leaf got shoved in there as well.

I then heated water, white wine vinegar,  mustard seeds, cloves,  kosher salt and sugar.  I brought it to a boil and then let it cool to lukewarm. I then poured this over the veggies  and cooled to room temperature.  The jar got clamped shut and then went into the fridge. A few hours later, I had some nice cold pickled veggies!

So, to help you along, here’s a basic pickling brine that can easily be tweaked to your preference. I may substitute dill seed and fresh dill for the mustard seeds next time. Or, I might add some whole coriander seeds.  The chilled pickled veggies keep for about five days in the fridge.

My Basic Refrigerator Pickling Brine
1 ½  cups white wine vinegar
2 ½ cups water
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons whole black mustard seeds
6 whole cloves

Simmer vinegar, water, salt, sugar, peppercorns, mustard seeds and whole cloves in a heavy non reactive saucepan for five minutes. Cool to lukewarm and pour over veggies in the jar.

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