Pickling and canning are great ways to preserve spring produce-and it's much easier than you might think. Once you make a basic pickling brine, you can transform asparagus, green tomatoes, and green beans into crisp pickles. From salads to sandwiches, your homemade pickles will wow family and friends.
- Fresh Vegetables: Pick out fresh produce and clean it well.
- Salt, Vinegar, Water: Basic brines include some proportion of salt to vinegar to water. Look for a vinegar with 5% acidity, like cider vinegar. Try this Quick Pickled Cucumbers brine for anything from banana peppers peppers to asparagus.
- Sugar and Seasonings: To add extra flavor to your pickles, consider mixing in sugar, herbs, and spices. Dill and dried chilies are popular options, but for a sweeter brine try a cinnamon stick and cloves.
- Fill sterilized jars with vegetables: The vegetables should come to the top of the jar.
- Fill jars with brine.
- Seal, shake, and refrigerate.
This quick pickle technique works its magic in about three to six hours. For tarter pickles, just let them sit in the brine longer before consuming. The National Center for Home Food Preservation maintains a great website with tips, tricks, and troubleshooting.