How To: Quick Pickling

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Food-Matters/how-to-quick-pickling.aspx

It's been wonderful to write for The Herb Companion, Natural Home and GRIT. I'm excited about my herb cooking feature on quick pickling in the September issue. To date, I've written over 1,000 published articles, including features on gardening, green living, travel, beauty, healthy cooking and good eating.  You can reach me at lstarart@gmail.com.

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Last year I wrote an article for the September 2009 issue of The Herb Companion4 Recipes for Quick Pickles. It was very successful on the website, so I would like to share two more of my favorite quick pickling recipes. These recipes use bay and Herbes De Provence. Bay provides uplifiting flavor to your pickling jar and herbes de provence is a classic French herb blend that works magic when pickling cucumbers and other summer vegetables.

Bay5Bay & Dill Cucumber Pickles 

For an even greater infusion of flavor from the bay leaves, simmer them in the saucepan with the vinegar and salt. Then gently remove and put them in the pickle jar before covering with the liquid mixture. Experiment with a variety of summer vegetables including carrots, green beans and zucchini. Makes 2 cups.

• 1 to 2 cups sliced cucumber
• 2 to 3 bay leaves
• 1 tablespoon dried dill
• 16-ounce clean glass jar
• Fresh dill springs (optional)
• 1/3 cup cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon Kosher salt

1. Slice cucumber into 1/4 inch round slices. Tightly pack sliced cucumber and herbs in a clean glass jar until about 3/4 full.

2. Combine vinegar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and gently stir until salt dissolves. Remove from heat.

3. Add one cup of cold water to this mixture and let cool. Pour cooled liquid in jar to cover cucumbers and herbs. Add more cold water if necessary. Leave room at the top. Refrigerate for about an hour until chilled.

5-7-2010-1Herbes de Provence Radish Pickles 

Last year, K.C. mentioned in her blog that she was looking for new herb recipes for her radish crop. Inspired by her question, I immediately created my own delicious radish pickles with Herbes de Provence. The tarragon and lavender in Herbes de Provence create a lighter, sweeter balance to counter the radishes' sharpness. If your radishes sport red coats, pickling will make the pickling juice turn a pretty shade of pink. You can also use daikon radishes or other radishes and turnips. Makes 2 cups.

• 1 to 2 cups radishes, cleaned and quartered
• 2 to 3 tablespoons Herbes de Provence, preferably organic
• 1/3 cup cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
• 16-ounce clean glass jar

1. Clean and quarter radishes, removing their leafy tops. Tightly pack radishes and Herbes de Provence in a clean glass jar until about 3/4 full.

2. Combine vinegar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and gently stir until salt dissolves. Remove from heat.

3. Add one cup cold water to this mixture and let cool. Pour cooled liquid in jar to cover radishes and herbs. Add more cold water if necessary. Leave room at the top. Refrigerate for about an hour until chilled.

Herbes De Provence photo by mikeanddanna/Courtesy Flickr