In the summer there is always such an abundance of fresh vegetables just begging to be made into crisp, crunchy tart pickles. Pickling vegetables is an easy way not only to preserve them but also give them a tantalizing boost of flavor! They can accent just about any meal and they make a great mid-day snack on a hot afternoon.
A few weeks ago I was asked by my lovely friend, Katie, of Wagner Vineyards to make some pickles for a gourmet picnic dinner that she was hosting in the vineyard. It sounds like it was an amazing dinner and I was happy to contribute some delicious nuggets to the table! I pickled cucumbers, sungold tomatoes and fresh sweet summer corn all of which were scrumptious but if you have snap peas or pole beans or squash or just about anything really, this should make a delicious brine for whatever you’ve got on hand!
Makes 2 Quart Size Ball Jars
- 2 pints sungold tomatoes or 2 ears corn, kernels cut off of the cob, or 4 medium sized pickling cucumbers such as Kirby, or any combination of the three or other assorted summer veg
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon each mustard seeds, caraway seeds, fennel seeds and whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves, crushed
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red fresno chile, thinly sliced
- 12 sprigs of dill
Wash and dry your ball jars thoroughly.
If pickling cucumbers, thinly slice them on a mandolin and begin to layer them into your jars. When the jar is halfway full, add one quarter of the dill and then continue packing the cucumbers in until the jar is full, adding another quarter of the dill over the top. Repeat with the other jar.
If pickling sungolds, add half of the sungolds into the jar layering them with the dill as you would with the cucumbers, until the jars are full.
If pickling the corn, you may only need one jar depending on how many kernels your ears give you. Prepare the corn kernels in the jars as you would for the cucumbers and/or sungolds.
To prepare the brine, put a pot on the stove over medium heat. Add all of the whole spices plus the crushed bay leaves and toast for 4-5 minutes. When hot and toasty, pour in the water, vinegars, salt and sugar and bring to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the sugar and salt to dissolve.
Kill the heat and add the sliced garlic, red onion and red chile. Pour the hot pickling brine over your vegetables, filling the jars, and screw on the lids. Place into the refrigerator and in 24 hours your pickles will be ready to enjoy!
Cheers and enjoy! Happy pickling!