Week 52: Pickled Shrimp

Week 52: Pickled Shrimp

Final pickle of the year and I did something I’ve been putting off for a while. Go big or go home, #amIright? This being shrimp, I obviously didn’t want to take any chances here so I followed this recipe most closely, but was also intrigued by the use of olive oil in this one. I made things easy for myself and used trusty pre-cooked shrimp from Trader Joe’s but you can go hog wild and pickle with whatever shrimp situation most pleases you!

Full disclosure: I haven’t actually been home in the past week since I pickled these but my brother, who is house sitting and also serving as interim pickle taste tester, can be quoted as saying: “Same shrimp texture, less fishy than before and more spicy from what you put in the jar…pretty good, I’d eat the whole jar but I’ll save some for you.” Shrimply the best!

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Week 51: Pickled Rutabaga

Week 51: Pickled Rutabaga

I’m clearly scrambling for pickling ideas here but this last-minute pickled rutabaga recipe was a pleasant surprise. Not sure how necessary the salting prep work is for making these (recommended here) but they definitely resulted in a pleasingly crunchy pickle so probably worth the extra time. Reminiscent of pickled turnips, you could go in a lot of different directions with the spices as the rutabagas and relatively mild and conducive to many flavor combos. Personally I will be trying a more garlicky version next time around but these packed their own delicious punch with honey and lemon in the brine, and the mustard flavor from the seeds really seemed to shine more than usual.

One more pickle to go for the year…happy holidays and tune in next week for the final (and hopefully interesting slash surprising) pickle on my list!
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Week 50: Pickled Cabbage

Week 50: Pickled Cabbage

While this cabbage recipe isn’t full on sauerkraut, I couldn’t let a whole year of pickling go by without doing some version of pickled cabbage. The below is a mere quickle (aka simple and amateur) recipe but I’ll be hardcore enough to make true sauerkraut next year. Stay tuned 🙂 There are plenty of versions you can find online for inspiration; I made up the one below but some other, similar ideas are here, here and here. Other great aspects of pickled cabbage are:

  1. Most cabbages are incredibly cheap and a little goes a long way (you could make at least a quart with one large head of cabbage)
  2. This is one of the most versatile recipes I’ve made as you could sub out with many other spices and vinegars; a few options that come to mind are red or white wine vinegar instead of ACV and cumin seeds instead of fennel
  3. These pickles will last forever; while softer fruits and veggies definitely have a prime before they start going even softer, these are great with a little crunch or just as good after they’ve been sitting in their juices for weeks on end…yum, appetizing!

On another positive note, I finally got to use a mandolin slicer for this recipe, which will be coming in handy for many additional pickles that I’m planning to remake soon (zucchini and ginger come to mind first and foremost). It was super easy to use and, even more importantly, fast – no need for tedious chopping or slicing.

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Week 49: Pickled Eggplant

Week 49: Pickled Eggplant

This is The Weekly Pickle’s second foray into a hybrid pickling brine/oil marinade (see: artichokes) and it did not disappoint. There was a lot of online inspiration for pickled eggplant – a balsamic version if that’s your jam, whole pickled eggplant if you’re a kook and throw all caution to the wind when it comes to funky texture…the list goes on, but I loosely followed this and this version of a pickled eggplant antipasti.

For the below recipe, I used precious little Indian eggplants but you could really use any kind here, and there are a lot of options in the eggplant world. Just in time for the holidays, this is a great snacking item with classic Italian flavors that would pair well with a primo vino.
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Week 48: Pickled Pears

Week 48: Pickled Pears

Thought I was done with fruit but alas, pears are uber Christmasy so they seemed only appropriate as the first pickle of December. After months of trial and error, I finally have a few pickled fruits that I think really hit the mark (grapes being another). The pearfect recipe, if you will. The trick is a super small amount of salt and a more equal vinegar to water ratio but the recipe could totally be dependent on the fruit being pickled.

One thing I saw a lot that I definitely wasn’t on board with for this pickle recipe was cooking the pears in the brine before canning…they’re already such a soft fruit and you’re peeling away their protective outer layer so I just poured brine over fully raw pears and called it a day. I much prefer a crunchy pickle as opposed to decomposed mush. Even so, the pears I used were super firm beforehand – so firm, in fact, that I could easily peel them with a veggie peeler as opposed to delicately with a paring knife – and they still softened up a significant amount once pickled.

A lot of the recipes I found also seemed to be geared more towards syrupy delights; I cut back on the sugar a bit and ended up with a fresher tasting pickle, which is generally more my choice.

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Week 47: Pickled Grapes

Week 47: Pickled Grapes

I think I said this about peaches but I actually mean it for grapes – definitely the best pickled fruit to date. Which makes sense because not only are these a legit pickled item (see mention of a bounty of recipes below) but apparently, at least according to this recipe, they are considered a Thanksgiving treat. Also, food photography goals. There were a surprising number of recipes to be found for pickled grapes so the below is a bit of a hodgepodge of combos that sounded good to me – hope you think these are just as grape as I do!

A final thought: I really appreciate when pickle recipes are supes versatile in terms of vinegars and spices you could use. I could see changing up this recipe with, for example, apple cider vinegar instead white wine vinegar, or adding a different mix of spices like star anise, cardamom, cloves, rosemary and/or bay leaf.

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Week 46: Pickled Pumpkin

Week 46: Pickled Pumpkin

I couldn’t let this festive season go by without pickling some pumpkin. If pumpkin can go in our coffee, alcohol, hummus, butter, yogurt and more, it can go in a pickle jar. Of all the weird-ish things I’ve pickled this year, pickled pumpkin was actually a surprise hit – great flavor and kept a decent crunch. Even my supportive but skeptical S.O., who hasn’t been the biggest fan of quite a few of these pickle experiments, agreed these were a success.

I most closely followed this recipe and the result seriously incorporates some great fall flavors with apple cider (vinegar), cinnamon and some other spices; and while I didn’t add ginger, could totes see that being a great addition. I cut the pumpkin pieces in pretty thin strips because I’m thinking about putting these on leftover turkey sandwiches next weekend post-Thanksgiving. We shall see…

Quick warning to heed – do NOT use a carving pumpkin for this recipe. They aren’t great for cooking or baking, therefore I don’t recommend them for pickling. Use the smaller pumpkins you can find in most grocery stores labelled either “pie” or “sugar” pumpkins. Less fibrous, better for human consumption.

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Week 45: Pickled Leeks

Week 45: Pickled Leeks

Super excited about this pickled leek recipe as it is, in my opinion, an improved version of the pickled green onions I did in my earliest of early days of pickling. Leeks are sturdier so naturally a better fit for pickling, and while it’s mostly because of the way I cut the leeks (1/4″ rounds rather than longer, while stalks), they do have a less slimy texture than the green onion results. Another pro about this pickle recipe: leeks are ridiculously cheap, unlike a few of the things I’ve pickled recently, so these are great to make en masse. And if you have leftover thyme, pickle these while you’re at it!

The current ideas I found for pickled leeks (such as this one) generally suggest simmering the leeks briefly but I like as much oniony flavor and crispness as possible so I just poured the hot brine over a filled jar for minimal cooking. Go forth and pickle this beauteous veggie – it would be great thrown into salad, as a sandwich filling or atop a soup (#SoupSeason) or stew (chili, duh).

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Week 44: Pickled Baby Artichokes

Week 44: Pickled Baby Artichokes

Baby artichokes are simply adorbs and you can use way more of whole veggie itself than of full-grown chokes. Not surprisingly, there aren’t an overwhelming number of pickled artichoke recipes to be found – this I followed to some extent – and in truth, the “brine” has a significant amount of olive oil in it so you could also think of these as marinated artichokes. But the mixture does contain salt and vinegar, so technically a brine and therefore technically a pickle. You could say this is a marinate/brine hybrid; a marinine if you will.

Similar to pickled sunchokes, if you want to retain the color of the baby artichokes, put them in a bowl of acidulated water after trimming. Another note is that you could easily switch up the herbs and spices for this recipe. Just think anything that pairs well with Mediterranean flavors and, perhaps more importantly, nothing tiny and harsh like whole peppercorns that could get caught in the crevices of the artichokes and cause an unexpected and unwanted flavor sensation if bit into.
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Week 43: Pickled Persimmons

Week 43: Pickled Persimmons

In the spirit of autumn, the next pickles in the lineup are persimmons. A friend gave me a bunch recently and while I love them on their own, it seemed only right to preserve a few in pickled form. I found a few recipes online but most closely followed my pickled peach recipe that I made back in August as it was one of the more successful pickled fruits.

Full disclosure: the original brine I made did seem to break down the persimmons a little too much. I adjusted the recipe below but will probs try again to play around with the water to vinegar ratio some more.

And now, persimmon to enjoy these to the fullest!

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