An end of season pickling recipe for gardeners
Our gardens are heaving with too many cucumbers and green tomatoes that aren't ripening. It is often at the end of the season when we get busy in the pickling kitchen. This recipe is a base for all crunchy vegetable pickles and will help you with the glut. It's also good for the excess veggies in the veggie box that you don't know how to deal with.
Makes 4 x 375 ml jars
Use this base pickling recipe for a kilo of any crunchy vegetables. The brine is always the same, but change the spices and herbs to match your vegetable choice.
The brine ratio is 4:2:1
4 parts vinegar : 2 parts water: 1 parts sugar
3 cups white wine vinegar
1.5 cups water
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon mustard seeds yellow or black
1 teaspoon dill seeds or fennel seeds
1 small chilli or garlic clove (optional)
- To sterilise your jars: give your jars and lids a soapy hot wash and a good rinse or put them through the dishwasher. Put jars into a low oven (110 degrees) for 15 minutes. Boil the lids for 5 minutes in a small saucepan, then let them air dry.
- Prepare vegetables.
Sturdy vegetables: carrot, beets, green beans, cauliflower can go in sliced raw
Watery veggies: cucumber, zucchini, gherkins, green tomatoes and onions will need to be sliced and salted following the below instructions.
To salt vegetables: approx. 1 kg vegetables to 1 tablespoon salt
Slice vegetables and put into a bowl with a tablespoon of salt. Mix with your hands to evenly disperse. Let it sit for at least an hour, up to overnight, to draw moisture out. Strain in a colander to get rid of excess liquid.
- Make your brine by combining vinegar, water and sugar and salt (only use salt in the brine if your vegetables went into the jar raw, if they were salted leave it out of the brine) in a saucepan over low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to simmering point.
- Place the spices into the bottom of each sterlised jar. Tightly pack the vegetables in the jars and add the hot brine to completely cover. Remove any air bubbles by gently tapping the jar on the work surface or slide a butter knife or chop stick around the inside of the jar to release any hidden air bubbles. You may need to add more brine to ensure the vegetables are completely submerged. Wipe the rim of the jar and seal.
- Heat process for 10 minutes. Let sit for at least 2-4 weeks before eating! Pickles will last unopened in the pantry for 12 months. Once opened store in the fridge for 6 months or more.