Ever wanted to use the whole watermelon but didn’t want to go through the long pickling process where you have to fill jars and put in a hot water bath?  How about vegetables?  They look so yummy in the store, and now you can pickle your own quickly and easily.  As the gardening season winds down, you may have extra vegetables that you have to get off the vine before a freeze, but you can’t imagine eating your way through it before it goes bad.  The solution is to can it.  Canning or pickling can seem like a daunting project.  Big deep water bath canners.  Sealing the jars.  Processing the food.   But it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it appears to be.

There are so many vegetables that can be pickled – all to your own taste.  Isn’t that what cooking and eating is all about?  Your own taste.

Here are some common vegetables you can pickle.  You can also mix and match:

  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Small onions
  • Green beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Red or yellow peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery

Spices and herbs you can add to your pickling liquid:

  • Red pepper flakes
  • Peppercorns
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic
  • Mustard seed
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Turmeric
  • Dill
  • Pickling spice

Quick Pickling Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coarse (Kosher) salt
  • 1 ½ cups cider vinegar (or change to rice or some other vinegar)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 5 cups water

Directions

  1. Cut  vegetables (about 1 pound total)  into a size that will fit the type of jar you are using. usually these will be 2 x 1½ inch strips.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine 5 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of kosher salt. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add vegetables to the water for about 2-3 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.
  4. Pack them into the jars leaving ½ inch at the top.
  5. To make the brine, in a saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and any of the other spices or herbs you choose to use.  Add 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt.
  6. Pour the hot liquid over vegetables, once again leaving about ½ inch from the top.  Place the lids on but do not tighten until cooled.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 months. If you use a canner, you can store on a shelf for up to 1 year.

Suggestion: If you’re not using canner, before filling your jars, heat them in the oven turned to 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Eat the vegetables out of the jar.  They make a delicious snack.  Or use them on sandwiches or burgers or hotdogs.  Chop them up to make a quick relish.