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You Can Pickle That!

Enjoy the flavor of your favorite fruits and vegetables long after harvest season has come to an end. Grab lots of vinegar, a few mason jars, and consider yourself on your way to becoming a pickling pro! Try one of these unexpected recipes

In the past, pickling was used simply as a means of food preservation and storage. However, in recent years, the method has evolved into much more. Pickling enthusiasts are stepping outside the box and looking far beyond the standard cucumber. We found that almost any vegetable or fruit is quite delicious when pickled and delivers a surprising punch to compliment any meal. So gather those jars, pick your produce—and get picklin’.

Pickled Fruits:

Pickled Mission Figs 

Ingredients

  • Four 1/2-pint canning jars with lids and rings
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/4 pounds small firm-but-ripe Black Mission figs (about 24)

Preparation 

  • Fill a large pot with water, cover and bring to a boil. Add the canning jars, lids and rings along with a set of tongs and a ladle and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes to sterilize. Cover the pot and turn off the heat.
  • Set a metal rack in another large pot. Fill the pot with water, cover and bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the figs and simmer over low heat, stirring a few times, until they are barely tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Using the sterilized tongs, remove the jars from the hot water and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Pack the figs into the hot jars and ladle the hot balsamic vinegar over them, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top. Using the tongs, place the lids on the jars followed by the rings. Screw on the lids securely but not too tightly.
  • Using canning tongs, lower the jars onto the rack in the pot of boiling water, making sure the tops of the jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Boil the jarred figs over high heat for 15 minutes. Using the canning tongs, transfer the jars to a rack to cool until the lids seal (they will look concave); refrigerate any jars that do not seal. Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.

Pickled Mango 

Ingredients

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 thin slices peeled ginger
  • 2 dried chiles de arbol
  • 2 large firm mangoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges

Preparation

  • Heat the cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, peppercorns and cardamom in a small skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until toasted, about 4 minutes.
  • Make the brine: Combine the vinegar, 3/4 cup water, the sugar, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon salt, the ginger, chiles and toasted spices in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring to dissolve the sugar, 5 minutes.
  • Pack the mango wedges into a 1-quart jar, then pour in the hot brine; let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 1 week.

Pickled Vegetables:

Picked Eggplant with Mint & Garlic 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pickling salt

Preparation

  • Prepare a small canning pot and 2 pint jars. Place 2 new lids in a small pot of water and bring to the barest simmer.
  • Pour vinegar into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it boils, add eggplant and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • When time is up, remove eggplant cubes from vinegar with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl. Add garlic, mint and salt and stir to combine.
  • Pack eggplant into jars and top with boiling vinegar, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  • Tap jars gently to remove any trapped air bubbles. If necessary, add more brine to return the headspace to 1/2 inch.
  • Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (start your timer when the water returns to a boil, not when the jars first go in).
  • When time is up, remove jars from canner and let cool on a folded kitchen towel.
  • When jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals by grasping edges of lids and carefully lifting jars. If lids hold fast, seals are good.
  • Store jars in a cool, dark place. They are ready to eat within 1 week, but can be kept up to one year.

Picked Corn 

Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 6 Ears of Corn — husked, cut crosswise into about 11/2’ rounds
  • 5 ½ Tablespoons Kosher Salt plus more
  • 10 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Red Chiles (Such as Jalepeno or Fresno), cut crosswise into thin rounds. Seeded
  • 1 Tablespoon whole Black Peppercorns

Preparation

  • Cook corn in a large pot of slightly salted boiling water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water. Let cool, then drain.
  • Layer corn, garlic, and peppercorns in a 4 quart glass or jar
  • Stir 5 ½ table spoons of salt and 2 quarts of water in a large bowl until salt is dissolved. Pour over corn mixture. Place several plates or small bowls over the vegetables to keep them submerged by at least 2 inches. Cover jar with plastic wrap or lid and let stand in a dark, cool place such as a cellar, closet, or pantry at room temperature (68-70 degrees is ideal) for 4 days to pickle. Taste it! Want more pucker? Let it sit for 1-2 more days, then serve or refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

Picked Chiles 

Ingredients

Servings- Makes 1 Quart

  • 4 Cups Assorted Chiles (such as Serrano, Jalapeno, Thai)
  • 1 ½ Cups Distilled White Vinegar
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Coriander Seeds

Preparation

  • Cut large chiles into ¼ inch rings. Pierce small chiles 3-4 times with a skewer. Pack all chiles in a clean 1 quart jar.
  • Bring vinegar, all remaining ingredients and 1 ½ cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour hot brine over peppers. Seal jar. Let cool, then refrigerate. Serve within 1 month.

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