I wanted to try pickling, so I decided to give it a try on the weekend, but starting with only small batches. My beloved aunt Inge would vividly oppose to the term “pickling” (she’s an institution on home grown greens as well as food-preservation and she’s some kind of an old-style, longtime proficient german homesteader, not the american style 🙂 ). But I’ll try anyway.
What I did is “quick pickling”, as opposed to “fermentation” (like for example Sauerkraut is made). It’s simply vegetables that are brined in a vinegar-, water- and salt- (sometimes also sugar-) solution and stored in the refrigerator.
While fermented vegetables develop a rich, deep flavour and additional beneficial vitamins and nutrients, quick pickles are easy and, well, quick to produce even in a few days. Also, fermented foods have a way longer shelf life than pickled ones. Nonetheless, they’re delicious but lack the additional benefits of fermented goods.
- 1 cup (240g) distilled white vinegar (like this or this)
- 1 cup (240g) water
- 1.5 tbsp. (~25g) coarse salt
- 1 optional tbsp. (~17g) sugar, if using
- Optional aromatics (e.g. garlic, various herbs, peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaves, juniper berries, etc.) per jar
- Vegetables (e.g. cucumbers, carrots, onions, green onions, bell peppers, radishes, etc.)
Combine water, vinegar and salt (plus sugar, if using) in a pot and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Stir until the solids dissolve. Remove from the heat an let cool for ~10 minutes.
Add your aromatics to your pickling jar, then add your vegetables, tightly packed and snug. Leave ~2.5 cm (~1″) space to the brim of the jar. Pour the brining solution over your vegetables, making sure to cover all of the content. Cover loosely with a lid and let cool, then tight-fit the lid and chill in the fridge for at least 2 days. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Rule of thumb:
Equal parts white vinegar and water + 3/4 tbsp. salt (+ 1/2 tbsp. sugar) per cup of total pickling liquid (see above).