Spring Pickled Veggies | April 20th, 2017

Bold, Bright, Crunchy, Healthy – anytime you can combine those words together to describe a bite of food, you are winning! Today, we are talking about amping up your sandwiches, salads, and snack expectations.

We all know that veggies are good for us but if you are like me, I get bored with the same old roasting, steaming, and sautéing.  Any way I can eat more vegetables and surprise my taste buds at the same time is a good thing!

Consider pickling.

I have never been a huge pickle fan.  With all the talk over the last few years on fermented foods and their digestive benefits, I have learned to incorporate pickled foods into my routine.

This recipe changed the game for me.  Lightly pickling vegetables I already like (since I’m not a fan of cucumbers) really made me see how versatile fermentation can be.

The first time I brought jars of these tasty morsels into the Tovolo office, at least a third of the office asked me for the recipe before noon!  This is my favorite sandwich layer.  Awesome crunch is added to hummus, tuna, turkey, or even fish tacos.  I usually use carrots and zucchini but today I added radishes for another little zip. I often use whatever crunchy vegetables I might have left over from my farm box.  You can change up the spice mixture as well to make it your own. They make a GREAT potluck dish or hostess gift, too!

SPRING PICKLED VEGGIES

YIELDS 2 Quarts  |  PREP TIME  30 Min + 24 Hours  |  PRINT PDF

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tsp whole yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seeds
    • *you can use juniper berries, fennel pollen, red pepper flakes, cumin seed, lavender – experiment!
  • 2 ½ lbs. zucchini (this is where i substitute carrots or radishes, just so it equals 2 ½ lbs. of vegetable total)
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced (I often use a sweet onion or Spring onion in season)
  • 1 ½ cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ cup dill fronds (I don’t prefer dill so I omit these)
DIRECTIONS

First prepare your vegetables.  Your vegetables will shrink a bit so make sure you cut them thick enough to still have a crunch – maybe ¼ to ½ inch thick. I peel my carrots using the Tovolo Tri-Peelers but leave the skin on the zucchini.  If you are feeling extra particular, you can cut your vegetable on the Tovolo Precision Chef Cutting Mat – with its grid pattern and measurements, you can make sure that all the cuts you make are consistent.  Place the vegetables into a 3-quart shallow pan or bowl.

I really encourage you to lightly toast all your spices together in a skillet before you add them to your vinegar.  When you heat spices, especially whole spices like mustard seeds or juniper berries, you release the natural oils, thus infusing more flavor.  If you go this route, toast your spices in a small skillet over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until they become aromatic and you can see the oils.

Once your vegetables are cut and your spices are toasted, use a medium saucepan over medium-high heat to boil the white vinegar, sugar, and spice mixture.  When the sugar has dissolved and the vinegar is boiling, pour it over the vegetables and give it a good stir.  Then all you have to do is wait.  Once the vegetables have cooled to room temperature, they are ready to eat.  I prefer once they are cooled to put them in the refrigerator for at least a day.  It is best to store them in an airtight glass jar.  I really like the glass clamped jars because they are easy to open and close as well as make a pretty presentation if you are sharing your vegetables with friends.

Tell us how you are eating these awesome pickled veggies – we would love to hear from you!