How To Pickle Vegetables At Home

Understanding Spices

What is quick pickling?

If you think that pickling vegetables is a long, drawn-out process that will take you all weekend, think again. Quick pickling is actually very easy (hence the name) and only involves brining and marinating. Although the veggies don’t develop the deep flavours that fermented pickles do, they only need a few days in the brine before you can enjoy them.

Canning, on the other hand, is another method of pickling that requires a stronger pickle brine and a hot water batch. Although this means you can keep your pickled vegetables for longer, it is a more technical and time-consuming method.

Which vegetables are best?

Almost any kind of vegetable can be used for pickling, as long as your vegetables are fresh. The shape you choose to pickle the vegetables in is also your choice. For example, carrots work well when sliced into matchsticks or cut into coins. Cherry tomatoes can be pickled whole, and cucumbers, ginger and red onion can be thinly sliced. If you’re pickling green vegetables, you can even blanch them in boiling water for two to three minutes before dipping them in icy water. This helps to preserve that bright green colour.

What equipment will I need?

The good news is that you won’t need any fancy equipment that you don’t already have. All you need is a sharp knife, chopping board and any lidded, non-reactive container (a glass jar works best).

What flavourings can I use?

To make your quick pickles more interesting, there are plenty of flavourings and additional ingredients you can use to spice things up. Herbs and spices can make all the difference to your pickles. Our Pickling Spices are a hot mix of sweet, peppery flavours and include cloves, allspice, brown mustard seeds, coriander seeds, mace blades and galangal.

Here are some other herbs and spices to use:

  • Fresh herbs like dill, thyme, oregano and rosemary
  • Dried herbs like thyme, dill, rosemary, oregano and marjoram
  • Garlic cloves (smashed for a mild flavour, sliced for a stronger flavour)
  • Fresh ginger (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • Crushed red chillies or red pepper flakes
  • Ground spices like turmeric and smoked paprika for flavour and a pop of colour

How do I quick pickle?

First things first, you need to prepare your brine. For quick pickling, a brine is equal parts hot water and vinegar. Any basic vinegar works, such as apple cider, white vinegar, rice vinegar or white wine vinegar. For pickling, stay clear of aged vinegars like balsamic or malt vinegar. You’ll also need non-iodised salt.

Next, add your vegetables and brine to your container. Make sure the vegetables are completely covered.

Gently tap the sides of the containers to remove any air bubbles.

Let the containers cool to room temperature, seal them shut and transfer to the fridge. The flavours will improve the longer you leave them. That being said, it’s best to let them pickle for at least an hour before tucking in!

Quick pickles can be kept in the fridge for up to two months.

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