While dining on some tasty falafel at the previously reviewed Mediterranean joint Sahara, I gluttonously chomped into a garnish of what I assumed to be watermelon but was most definitely not. I was informed that it was, in fact, a piece of pickled turnip. I’m generally a fan of brined, pickled, fermented, and other low-pH foodstuffs, and decided I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to buy a bunch of pretty hermetic glass jars and hoard the summer produce.
Let it be known from the outset that this is a shameless rip from Smitten Kitchen’s Pickled Vegetable Sandwich Slaw. I changed exactly nothing from her recipe, because I don’t fix what isn’t broken. If I had access to some fresh dill, I may have thrown that in.
1 cup distilled white vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 cup cold water
This is hard, now, so pay attention:
Find your picklable objects.
I used cucumbers (the firm kind used for pickling, not “slicers” like you would put on a salad), banana peppers, radishes, and carrots. I also diced half a jalapeno and added that to half my jars. Use whatever firm vegetables you can find at your roadside farm stand or be a heathen and buy them at the store. Message me if you aren’t sure whether your veggies are ok to pickle, because contrary to what Portlandia says, you DON’T want pickled potatoes or kumquats or glass.
Slice them thin enough to soak up lots of pickly flavor.
I did what I like to call a “lazy julienne,” which is where my knife skills suck and nothing winds up the same size at all. If you have a mandoline, now is the time to use it. I threw mine away more than a decade ago in a fit of rage after slicing off a knuckle, but my food processor did a great job on the radishes.
Pack those veggies into a jar.
These are fridge pickles, so no sterilizing, pressurizing, or otherwise making yourself sweat is necessary. But don’t get crazy, they should be clean. I used the prettiest jars I could find, the volume of which totaled about 2.5 quarts. Try to pack the veggies tightly into the jars because they will float.
Heat all the ingredients in the pickling solution except the water to simmering. Turn the heat off, add the cold water, and wait until the mixture reaches tepidity. Pour it over the veggies. Done.
You can refrigerate these up to a month, which gives you plenty of time to pawn them off on everyone you know. You can also eat a lot of them right out of the jar with a fork a few hours after making them. Hypothetically.