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).
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. Read more
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.
This probably wins the award for most specific type of pickled item so far. Not just pattypan squash but baby pattypans – and aren’t they just adorable?! I’m feeling very much in the autumnal spirit so expect additional seasonal delights – other squash varietals, persimmons, pumpkin perhaps?! – in the next month or so.
Quick note, these little guys aren’t the cheapest of produce (not cheap as in, like, $11+ / lb) so unless you’re dying to expand your pickling horizons, stick with cheaper basics if you’re pickling excessively. The recipe itself is super simple though – very similar to the original quickles with the layering of garlic and dill, along with the added (but totally optional) addition of some other spices, namely peppercorns and celery seed.
Last week brought pickled turnips so naturally this week brings pickled turnip stems. Waste not, want not, #amIright? For this pickle recipe I went back to my trusty Pick a Pickle booklet since I never would have thought of this myself. You could also try this recipe with the tops or stems of other veggies – kale ribs and beet tops come to mind initially.
This recipe was super easy and according to the recipe book would work great as a garnish atop a pulled pork sandwich or a soup. Might need to whip out the crockpot for the first time this season and make some pulled pork sandos! I waited a while between pickling the turnips last week (and saving the stems/greens) and pickling the stems but if you do it all in one go and want to be extra pilgrim-y, you could probably even salvage the greens for something else fun and exciting (sautéed, added to a soup, etc).
I’ve been seeing different kind of turnips lately and love these smaller hakueri ones that more closely resemble radishes. Less prep than regular turnips and super easy to eat as pickles! There are a lot of pickled turnip recipes out there that would work for both types, or you could easily mix and match different flavors and spices for this since turnips are so versatile. Turnip…for what! Read more
After a few VERY hot weeks, it’s finally starting to feel like fall in San Francisco and this pickled fig recipe is definitely getting me (prematurely) in the spirit for the holidays. Between the port (first time pickling with booze!), rosemary and cinnamon, these basically taste like Christmas. So I FIGured you can pickle them now while they’re in season, tweak the recipe as you see fit, and you’ll have the perfect pickled figs in time for the most wonderful time of the year.
I wanted to make up my own recipe for this week but this version is pretty similar if you want to play around with other spices (cloves, anise or all spice would all be great). Other variations could be to add peppercorns for a little more kick or red wine vinegar as another vinegar option. Read more
Despite repeated warnings I found online that bitter melon is most definitely an acquired taste, it was such an eye-catching, funky-looking item I kept seeing at the farmers market so I decided to pickle it. I have to say, pickled bitter melon is also an acquired taste and while I ignorantly expected the pickling to dull the – you guessed it – bitter taste, it didn’t fully do that and I don’t know if these are gonna be a huge hit amongst my fellow pickle fiends slash fans.
BUT it’s good to experiment every so often and bitter melons are cheap AF so this wasn’t a huge strain on my resources. Definitely tried to go with some Asian flavors here – rice vinegar, ginger – might tweak in the future with more salt and/or sugar but without further ado, here’s the pickled bitter melon recipe I made this week.
Sunchokes – I had never used them for anything until now and of course, rather than cooking them, they got pickled. I was in somewhat of a rut deciding what to pickle next and not only did these speak to me in the produce section of Safeway (the powerful voice of desperation), but they were a pleasant surprise in how delish they turned out as pickles.
Interested in learning more about using sunchokes in general? According to the packaging, sunchokes are “the tuber from the sunflower” and “have the nutty flavor of a potato, jicama and an artichoke. They [other than being pickled] can be eaten raw, prepared like a potato, or sautéed…” As you can see, a very versatile little item to have on hand.
This is the first recipe I’ve followed (almost) in full in a while (adapted from here) so full disclosure, I can’t take credit for the success. With the turmeric and mustard seeds, this pickle recipe is very reminiscent of the pickled zucchini recipe I tried back in Week 21. Also require a bit more prep time than other recipes in using salt to draw out moisture but totally worth it and have already polished off a jar of these with friends. Read more
After hearing multiple suggestions about pickling watermelon rind, I realized that (similar to pickled corn) I couldn’t go the whole summer without attempting a pickled watermelon rind recipe. The thing is, I’m actually not a huge watermelon fan so it was a little daunting for me to buy watermelon just for the rind…fortunately I have a roomie who loves this popular summertime treat so nothing will go to waste!
That being said, a warning to anyone else out there who rarely purchases watermelon – DO NOT use a mini watermelon for this pickling initiative. As you can see in the photo to the right, mini watermelons have very little of the white rind that you actually need for pickling. I incorrectly assumed they would have a higher rind to melon ratio that would suit my pickling purposes, so now I not only have over half of a giant watermelon left, but 4 mini watermelons that I originally purchased without this realization.
Anyhoo, I mostly followed a recipe from my Pick a Pickle booklet, but another super simple version can be found here, and a recipe more similar to standard veggie pickles (garlic, dill, mustard seed) can be found here. Pickle up the final tastes of summer with any of these pickled watermelon recipes and enjoy!