I do like my pickles, however I’m a lazy preserver. My answer is a speedy repair that omits the trouble of canning: I make fast pickles. Fast-pickling is for impatient sorts like me, with (almost) immediately gratifying outcomes.
No time is healthier for pickling than summer time, which yields extra greens than you may shake a stick at. The gardens are bursting with ripe produce, as are the farmers markets. When you’ve munched by way of your backyard and purchasing basket, cooked, roasted and steamed your pickings, and tossed your harvests into salads, the query of what to do with the ever-replenishing mountain of veggies presents itself — not not like a big, leafy, inexperienced elephant within the room.
That is the second to quick-pickle. Fast-pickling differs from canning and jarring in that it’s a short-term methodology that includes marinating the greens in a sugar-and-vinegar brine. (Canning is extra technical, involving a course of that permits the meals to stay safely edible for prolonged durations of time.) Something that’s quick-pickled ought to be saved within the fridge and consumed inside two weeks. For pickle pigs, like myself, this isn’t a deterrent.
All kinds of greens take pleasure in a pickle; simply you should definitely use the freshest produce accessible. You’ll be able to brine a range collectively or individually. Crisp greens are nice contenders, resembling cauliflower, carrots, turnips, beans, beets, pickling cucumbers, fennel and cabbage. The benefit of quick-pickling is that the greens will preserve their crunch, which is important to a great pickle.
The brine is equally important to the pickle. Right here you may have a bit enjoyable with aromatics and spices, relying on what you’re pickling. A brine is historically an equal ratio of vinegar to water, plus sugar and salt. You’ll be able to regulate the sugar to your style, however keep away from leaning too candy, or the brine will probably be too saccharine. The vinegar could be a white vinegar, purple wine or rice wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar. Keep away from syrupy aged vinegars resembling balsamic. Tweak the aromatics utilizing entire seeds, resembling mustard, coriander, fennel and peppercorns. Contemporary and dried herbs are additionally necessary; sprigs of dill, rosemary, thyme and oregano add taste and nuance.
As soon as jarred, the pickles can reside in your fridge for as much as two weeks. The longer they sit within the brine, the stronger their taste.
Fast Summer season Pickles
Makes 1 to 1½ quarts
2 kilos recent greens
2½ cups water
2½ cups apple cider vinegar, purple wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
Totally wash and dry heatproof glass jars with broad lids.
Wash and trim the greens as wanted.
If utilizing recent herb sprigs, place contained in the jars. Tightly pack the greens into the jars with the sprigs.
Mix the brine substances in a saucepan. Deliver to a boil, stirring till the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour the brine over the greens, leaving about ½ inch clear on the prime. Cowl the jars and funky to room temperature.
Refrigerate for not less than 24 hours or as much as 2 weeks. The flavors will develop with time.
Lynda Balslev is a San Francisco Bay Space cookbook writer, meals and journey author and recipe developer.