I like pickles. I like all things pickled. I'm an equal-opportunity pickle lover, too. Tart, zingy dill pickles? Great. Sweet-sour bread-and-butter pickles? Ideal. Salty garlic pickles? Yum! And so now, with the Zojirushi equation looming over our heads, I have a yen to make pickles so as to have some variety at our fingers.
A couple of years ago, I picked up a copy of Quick Pickles on impulse. The promise of making bright, colorful folk pickles was too much to pass up. I promptly set it on the shelf and more or less forgot about it. But one of the joys of having too many cookbooks is the rediscovery of one that's been lurking in a dark corner, or hiding behind a bigger book, or that you look at flat out hundreds of times and simply stop seeing.
I picked the recipe for Italian-Style Garden Pickles for its simplicity and its familiarity. But of course, I didn't follow it exactly to the T. (Do I ever?) Rather, the vinegar is mostly apple cider vinegar with some white wine and red wine vinegars thrown in to make up the balance (it's what I had in the house), and I tossed in some extra dry herbs to pump it up a bit.
The flavor will develop over the next few days. I'll report back accordingly. The recipe, as usual, after the jump.
Italian-Style Garden Pickles
(from Quick Pickles)
8 c. total vegetables of any proportion you like, cut into 2- or 3-inch pieces. In this case I used broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and onion; red bell peppers, green beans, chilis, radishes and celery are also suitable.
6-7 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 Tbsp of fresh oregano, thyme and/or rosemary
3 c. white wine vinegar
1-3/4 c. water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp kosher salt
4 bay leaves, crumbled
2 tsp fennel seed
2 tsp black peppercorns
In a large nonreactive bowl, mix the veggies, garlic and herbs and mix well.
In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Immediately pour this over the veggies and mix well. It may not look like enough liquid at first, but the vegetables will wilt down a bit. Allow to cool, uncovered, then cover and refrigerate.
The pickles are ready to eat within a couple hours of cooling, but the flavor will continue to develop over the next few days. It will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to a month.