Visiting Florida farmers markets this time of year is fun. Gorgeous carrots, crunchy celery, bright lettuce and greens, deep purple eggplant, colorful peppers, and bunches of herbs are especially plentiful.
St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and I’m sure you’ve seen the delicious recipes for corned beef, potatoes, cheese dips, soda breads, and desserts to celebrate the big day. Since there are plenty of those options, I have no guilt posting something healthy (and green)!
Quick pickles are awesome because all you have to do is chop veggies, stick ’em in a jar and fill it with a warm solution of water, vinegar, salt, sugar (optional) and aromatics like garlic, chile peppers, mustard seeds, peppercorns and herbs. Refrigerate for 2-3 days and you’ve got pickles! Plus, there’s no need to go through the formality of ‘canning’ – you just keep them in the fridge.
So chop away and fill those jars with beautiful veggies, then enjoy them alongside a cheese platter, a sandwich, inside a zesty Bloody Mary. Make them as spicy or sweet as you like – experiment with proportions, try a new herb or peppercorn or different type of vinegar and see how they affect flavor.If you want to try another method for pickles, try Sweet & Spicy Refrigerator Pickles.
- 1 lb. Fresh vegetables, trimmed I used green bean, carrot, asparagus, Kirby cucumber, Vidalia onion
- 4-5 cloves Garlic, peeled & mashed
- Several sprigs Fresh dill
- 1-2 tsp. Mustard seed
- 1-2 tsp. Peppercorns (black, pink, other)
- 4-5 Bay leaves
- 1-2 Fresh chiles (jalapeño, red, other) Optional - use more if you like 'em spicy
- Several slices Fresh ginger, peeled & julienned
- 3 1/2 cups Water
- 1 1/2 cups Distilled white vinegar
- 2 Tb. Kosher salt
- 2-3 Tb. Granulated sugar Optional
- Wash, peel (if necessary) and trim veggies, cut to fit jars, then fill each jar.
- Divide garlic, herbs, mustard seed, peppercorns, bay leaf, chile and ginger into each jar.
- In a small saucepan, bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar (if using) to a simmer then pour the warm liquid into each jar until it just covers the veggies. Leave jars on the counter, uncovered, until they come to room temperature, then cover each with a lid. Turn each upside down a few times to combine all the flavors. Refrigerate 2-3 days. After the first day, flip each jar (be sure the lids are on tightly!), and return to the other side the next day.
- These pickles may be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks (but I doubt they'll last that long)!