In case you missed it, the world’s in a bit of a pickle. So what better time to start experimenting with all those home-pickling recipes you’ve been dying to try?
There’s nothing like a cold, salty pickle to turn any simple salad, share platter or sandwich into a gourmet taste adventure. And while we’re all spending more time cooking at home, a jar of home-pickled vegetables can really help keep things interesting.
Plus, pickling your own vegetables is easier than you’d expect – all you need is a jar, some fresh produce and your choice of quality vinegar and spices.
From carrots and cucumbers to chillies and tomatoes, here are our favourite tips for pickling veggies at home:
Choose your vegetables
The magic of pickling is that it works with almost any fresh, quality vegetables – the more colours the better. Here in the NEFF kitchen, we’ve tried everything from beets, turnips and radishes, to carrots, cauliflower, peppers, green beans and asparagus. You could even combine a few, but don’t overdo the taste sensation.
Cut your choice of ingredients up into manageable strips (between 1 and 2cm thick is a good starting point, although you can go thicker with softer vegetables like cucumber). The fresher the veggies, the better the flavour and texture.
Make your brine
The secret to the perfect brine lies in these five elements: water, vinegar, sugar, salt and spices. Start with equal parts 100ml water and 100ml vinegar (white vinegar is most popular, but you could try rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar for a stronger flavour), and then add a pinch of sugar and a few teaspoons of salt. Your quantities don’t have to be exact.
Then, add your herbs and spices. This depends on the vegetable you’re using, but you’ll just need a teaspoon or a few sprigs of each ingredient. You can’t go wrong with these flavour combinations:
- Mustard and coriander seeds
- Garlic and thyme sprigs
- Peppercorns and dill sprigs
- Whole cloves and ginger
- Chilli flakes and celery seeds
Heat up the brine ingredients in a saucepan, being careful not to let it boil. All you need to do is let the sugar and salt dissolve – nothing more.
Keep cool and serve cold
Once you’ve made your brine, it’s time to package up and let your fragrant creations do their infusing work. Pack your sliced or whole vegetables in a mason jar, pour your hot brine over the top, and then leave sealed in a cool, dry place. After a week, you may need to top up the liquid with some more vinegar mixture to avoid oxidation. Once opened, refrigerate!
After a few days, you should be ready to tuck in. An easy, flavoursome way to pass the time. Have a go at adding your pickled vegetables to some of these NEFF Recipes:
NEFF is a German-engineered kitchen appliance brand, with a product range that includes ovens, cooktops, rangehoods, coffee machines and dishwashers designed to make life in the kitchen a daily pleasure. For people who love to cook, NEFF gives you the tools to creative meaningful connections, express your creativity and make memories. Because real life happens in the kitchen.
Learn more about NEFF here.