Vegetable Pickles

Pickled veges in jars
Photo by Stephen Clarke.

Just about any thinly-sliced fresh veggie can be pickled, a neat trick for preserving its lifespan. Bringing a delicious sweet-sour crunch to cheese boards or cold cuts, this recipe adds some spices for an extra kick. They also make great homemade gifts when presented in a cute hand-labeled jar.

{ Makes 1 jar }

  • 2½ cups distilled white vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup thinly sliced vegetables
  • 2 teaspoons coriander or mustard seeds, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric or smoked paprika
  • Handful fresh dill, chopped
  • ¼ cup shallots, sliced lengthwise

Prepare two quart-sized mason jars by washing in warm soapy water. Rinse well and set aside to dry completely.

Closely pack your prepared, thinly sliced vegetables into the jar, ensuring there is a ½ inch space between the tops of the vegetables and the rim of the jar.

Combine the vinegar, water, salt, spices, herbs and sugar (if using) in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the salt and sugar have dissolved.

Pour the hot liquid over the vegetables until they are completely submerged. Leave about a ½ inch space between the top of the liquid and the lid. Seal tightly.

Allow to cool completely before refrigerating and leave for two days before serving for best results. Keeps in the fridge for two months.

Mix it up: As well as the classic cucumber or zucchini, we love pickling carrots, beets, bell peppers, asparagus, radish, cauliflower florets and green beans. Apple cider, white wine and rice vinegars all work well if you don’t have white vinegar to hand; you can mix and match varieties to bring in different flavor hints (just avoid aged or concentrated vinegars like balsamic).