Every refrigerator should be stocked with a mixture of vegetables covered in vinegar. If you regularly add new vegetables to the jar, along with more vinegar to keep them covered, you’ll never be without a pickle. You may experiment with various herb families to your liking. For example, include some slices of peeled ginger, snips of lemongrass and a handful of cilantro leaves for an Asian pickle.
Quick pickles rely on the combination of acid (in the form of vinegar) and cold storage (from refrigeration) to inhibit spoilage microbes. When you make canned pickles (vinegar plus heat instead of cold), it’s essential that you use vinegar with at least 5 percent acidity to make sure the pickles will remain safe in room-temperature storage. Our recipe for refrigerator pickles, or “quick pickles,” may be made with any kind of vinegar—even low-acidity rice vinegar, which has a pleasantly sweet and mild flavor.
Versatile Veggie Pickles Recipes
• Two 4- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers
• 1 sweet salad turnip
• 1 medium carrot
• 2 shallots
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled
• 1 to 2 hot chili peppers, fresh or dried (optional)
• 2 to 3 tablespoons honey (or substitute sugar)
• 1-1⁄2 cups rice vinegar (or substitute another favorite vinegar)
1. Peel (if desired) and slice vegetables into 1⁄4-inch rings.
2. Pack vegetables, herbs and seasonings into a lidded storage container or canning jar.
3. In a separate container, whisk honey into vinegar and pour over vegetables. Cover and refrigerate. These pickles will be ready to eat the next day and will stay good for about a month. I prefer them after at least a few days. Makes 1 quart.
Find more great ways to savor your fall harvest in our Guide to Fall Food Preservation.