Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pickled Tomatillos, Green Beans and Carrots: It’s a Pickle Party!



Welcome to the Pickle Party! This is the season for pickling those lovely veggies you have grown in your garden, plucked from your CSA box or scooped up at your farmer’s market. And today Shauna Ahern (the Gluten-Free Girl) has invited us all to attend a virtual pickle party. Pickles will be shared from hundreds of kitchens and I’m excited to join the party.

My pickling experience so far has been with quick pickles that are ready in a few hours or a couple of days, and keep well for a month in the fridge. I’ve wanted to branch out into pickling with lacto-fermentation and recently got a crock to do so. We now have a 7 liter crock filled with cabbage in our garage, slowly fermenting into sauerkraut and I can’t wait to try it! But since that takes six weeks or so, I’ve made a variety of quick pickles for today.

The satisfaction from pickling is huge! To stand back and admire beautiful jars of preserved vegetables is wonderful. Last night I let out a very contented sigh and smiled at my afternoon’s endeavor. It touches on the Laura Ingalls Wilder within me, the desire to eat local, to get back to basics, to create food from scratch. When I shared this thought with my mom, she observed, “You’re trying to eat the way I grew up,” and this is true. She was raised on a farm where food was grown on their land and prepared at home. In my urban setting I have backyard chickens for eggs, a variety of tomato plants, and am grateful for the local farms surrounding Seattle that provide a bounty of incredible fruit and vegetables.

The number of vegetables that can be pickled is wonderful. I chose to pickle tomatillos, green beans and carrots for today. But I won’t be stopping there! I hope you’ll join me and get pickling.

The recipes and technique that follow are adapted from an issue of Eating Well and make 6 pint-size jars each.

Pickled Tomatillos

2 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and cut into quarters or eighths
3 cups distilled white vinegar
3 cups water
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
6 habanero or jalapeno chiles, sliced
6 garlic cloves, sliced
3 teaspoons cumin seed

For the brine, combine the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until salt dissolves. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Divide the tomatillos, chiles, garlic and cumin seed between 6 pint-sized jars.

Carefully fill the jars with the brine to within 1/2 inch of the top of the rim, covering the vegetables completely. Discard any leftover brine. Place lids on the jars and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Pickled Green Beans

2 pounds green beans, stem ends trimmed
3 cups distilled white vinegar
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons crushed red chile pepper

Bring a pan of water to a boil and blanch the green beans for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately submerge the beans in a bowl of ice water.

For the brine, combine the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Divide the green beans and crushed red chile pepper between 6 pint-sized jars. Don’t worry if your beans are a little taller than the jar, they can be gently pushed in.

Carefully fill the jars with the brine to within 1/2 inch of the top of the rim, covering the vegetables completely. Discard any leftover brine. Place lids on the jars and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Pickled Carrots

2 1/2 pounds carrots, cut into 3-inch sticks (I didn’t peel mine, but you can if you prefer)
3 cups distilled white vinegar
3 cups water
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
6 cloves garlic, sliced
12 sprigs fresh dill

Bring a pan of water to a boil and blanch the carrots for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately submerge the carrots in a bowl of ice water.

For the brine, combine the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until salt dissolves. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Divide the carrots, garlic and dill sprigs evenly between 6 pint-sized jars.

Carefully fill the jars with the brine to within 1/2 inch of the top of the rim, covering the vegetables completely. Discard any leftover brine. Place lids on the jars and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

12 comments:

  1. I'm the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (www.punkdomestics.com), and I'd love for you to submit this to the site. Remember to tag it #pickleparty. Good stuff!

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  2. @Hedonia
    Thank you, Hedonia! Just submitted it. Loved checking out Punk Domestics! It's a terrific site.

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  3. How fun! I don't have time for this right now, but next year I am certainly going to make time. We'll have to have another pickle party! These look almost too beautiful to eat!

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  4. I keep saying to myself - I will pickle this summer, I will pickle this summer, I will pickle this summer. I really will now NEXT WEEK! Thanks Hannah for the inspiration.

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  5. @Mikaela Cowles
    Thank you, Mikaela! And yes to another pickle party! I hope all is going well for you and not too overly busy. :)

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  6. @thislittlepiggywenttothefarmersmarket.com
    You are so welcome, Lisa! I like fridge pickles because they are quick and you get almost instant gratification. Happy pickling! :)

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  7. It's been a bit of a pickle party 'round our kitchen, too. The top shelf of my fridge is now covered in Bell jars. I'm not complaining; I love anything pickled...you could probably pickle a shoe and I'd eat it.

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  8. I can't wait to see how your sauerkraut turns out. I only like homemade sauerkraut, but I've never made it myself. I've also never made pickles, because I hate them! However, I might actually like pickled carrots or green beans because I just really really dislike pickled (or not pickled) cucumbers. They're one of the few things I just can't make myself like!

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  9. @cheapbeets
    I'm happy to hear you've been pickling, Molly! Isn't it a beautiful sight in your fridge? I love anything pickled, too. Your shoe comment reminds me of a time my brother and I discussed how good butter and cream make everything taste. He said you could probably cook a shoe in butter and cream and it would be delicious! Maybe this shoe pickling/cooking is a Boston thing... :)

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  10. @Lauren Hairston
    I do hope you give some other veggies a try in pickled form, Lauren! Non-cucumber varieties are actually my favorite. And yes, I can't wait to see how the sauerkraut is, too. Once I tried homemade I couldn't go back to store bought.

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  11. I love pickling, something comforting and satisfyingly frugal about pickling. A big fan of tomatillos but I have never pickled them before, so thanks.

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  12. @Mairi
    I agree with you...pickling is very comforting. I like keeping old methods current in the kitchen and carrying on traditions. This is my first summer pickling tomatillos and we love them. A word of caution, they get hotter with time!

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