Tips & Tricks

10 Awesome Vegetables You Can Pickle In Under An Hour

Love the idea of pickling your own vegetables but not the reality of busting out a bunch of canning equipment? You’re in luck: Quick-pickling is an easy (and, yes, quick) way to turn vegetables into crisp-textured flavor bombs for whatever meal you’re cooking. And the best part? They involve little work on your end. Here are 10 vegetables you can pickle in under an hour (even 10 minutes!), using three different techniques.

If you have 10 minutes: Pickle them in salt and sugar.

This technique pulls moisture from the vegetables so you’re left with a perfectly crisp, slightly sweet finger food. Toss whatever vegetable you’re pickling in a mixture of equal parts salt and sugar; one teaspoon each should be plenty.

1. Radishes

Any variety of radish—watermelon, Cherry Belle, or French—works well with this technique. Thinly slice and toss with the salt-sugar mixture. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Eat up: Serve them on a crudité platter or as a crunchy element on sandwiches, salads, or tacos.

2. Cucumbers

Small, firm-fleshed Kirby cucumbers work best here. Slice into ¼”- to ½”-thick rounds or half moons and toss with salt-sugar mixture. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Eat up: Delicious in salads with a soy sauce dressing or garnished on fried rice or stir-fries.

3. Carrot ribbons
Creating thin ribbons of carrot turns the root vegetable into a surprising addition to a slaw or green salad. Use a vegetable peeler to create long ribbons from one large peeled carrot and toss with salt-sugar mixture. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Eat up: Toss with kale ribbons for a salad or pile on top of fish with fresh herbs as a garnish.

If you have 30 minutes: Brine them in vinegar.

Letting vegetables soak in a vinegar-based brine for 30 minutes gives them an addictive tangy flavor. There are multiple formulas for creating that briney flavor, but an easy place to start is with ½ cup each vinegar (any kind but balsamic, which is too syrupy) and water, a little sugar (up the amount if you prefer a sweeter taste), salt, and whatever other whole spices you’d like to add for flavor, such as mustard, cumin, or fennel seeds; peppercorns; or bay leaves.

4. Red onions

Oftentimes, accenting a dish with raw red onion slices can be a little harsh. A quick pickle mellows their flavor, softens their texture—and gives them a gorgeous jewel-toned color. Thinly slice one large red onion into rounds and transfer to a jar with a lid. Bring brine to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar, then pour over onions. Let sit 30 minutes at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

Eat up: Top on avocado toast, tacos, or burgers.

5. Asparagus
Bloody Mary, anyone? A little vinegar turns this spring vegetable into a creative garnish for a brunch cocktail or a snack eaten straight from the jar. Trim and discard the woody bottoms of the stalks, then halve and transfer to a jar with a lid. Bring brine to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar, then pour over asparagus. Let sit 30 minutes at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

Eat up: Wrap in prosciutto for an easy appetizer, serve as a side to roast pork, or garnish a Bloody Mary.

6. Cauliflower
If you don’t think you like eating this cruciferous vegetable after trying it raw, pickling the florets will change your mind. Transfer florets to a jar with a lid. Bring brine to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar, then pour over cauliflower. Let sit 30 minutes at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

Eat up: Toss with a handful of greens for a side salad that will cut through a rich piece of meat, such as steak.

7. Green beans
Green beans pickled with some heat make for an irresistible snack, so try adding a thinly sliced jalapeño to the brine. Trim green beans and transfer to a jar with a lid. Bring brine to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar, then pour over green beans. Let sit 30 minutes at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

Eat up: Serve with a cheese plate or eat on their own as a snack.

If you have 45 minutes: Cure them in miso.

Vegetables pickled in miso, a salty paste made of fermented soybeans, is traditional in Japanese cuisine, but it’s easy enough for less-adventurous cooks to pull off. The technique, called misozuke, is varied—some recipes call for keeping the vegetable submerged in miso for several days—but just 45 minutes will give vegetables a pleasing salty-sweet flavor. You can cure the vegetables in straight-up miso, or play with more Asian flavors: a couple tablespoons of rice vinegar or minced garlic or ginger.

8. Jalapeño
Seed the pepper before slicing thinly into rings if you don’t want too much heat. Transfer jalapeños to a shallow dish and pour over enough miso so that they’re fully submerged. Let sit for 45 minutes, then rinse with water and serve. Store in the refrigerator up to three days.

Eat up: Add to baked fish, a rice bowl with avocado and greens, or even scrambled eggs.

9. Fennel

This bulb seems intimidating, but its delicate anise flavor adds depth to many foods, and it’s just as delicious raw as it is cooked, making it a good option to pickle. Halve bulb vertically and discard core. Thinly slice and transfer to a shallow dish. Pour over enough miso so that fennel is fully submerged. Let sit for 45 minutes, then rinse with water and serve. Store in the refrigerator up to three days.

Eat up: Toss with halved cherry tomatoes as a vegetable side or top on a grilled steak or burger.

10. Eggplant
It’s smart to salt eggplant slices before pickling to draw out more of their moisture. Look for Japanese eggplants at the grocery store; they’ll smaller in size and will create nicer rounds. Peel eggplants, then thinly slice and transfer to a shallow dish. Sprinkle with salt and let sit 10 minutes. Pour over miso so that eggplant is fully submerged. Let sit for 45 minutes, then rinse with water and serve. Store in the refrigerator up to three days.

Eat up: Make a salad by tossing pickled eggplant with fresh basil, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes.

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