Like so many others during this time of physical distancing, I have found myself watching The Great British Baking Show. It seems to be filling my need for consuming competitive events. I am also learning plenty about baking.
To kickoff the physical distancing I decided to do some pickling. I’ve been pickling onions and peppers for many years. They are wonderful on sandwiches, salads, cheese boards, and for topping off pastas, to name a few. For me the key is cutting them really thin, making them easy to pile on whatever it is you are eating. I feel the thinness brings along a better onion/pepper-to-vinegar ratio.
In addition to onions and peppers, I started pickling asparagus recently as well. I wish I would have started long ago. For me there isn’t a better pickled anything than asparagus. They are delicious. They are also convenient (grab a few spears out of the jar). They work as a snack or as a part of a meal. The key is using a hot brine for the asparagus (this also works great for Brussels sprouts), thanks to Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden for this advice. Just pour in the boiling brine into the jar of asparagus.
As for the cauliflower, this is my first time pickling them. I’m looking forward to giving them a go in a few days.
Note: these are all refrigerator pickles. They are usually ready to eat in 2-3 days.
I have settled on using the same brine for all of my pickling, hot or cold.
2 cups - water 1 cup - white vinegar 1/4 cup - rice vinegar 3 tbsp - salt 2 tbsp - sugar
When making the hot brine for the asparagus and Brussels sprouts combine all the brine ingredients and bring to a boil. When making the cold brine bring everything except for the water to a boil. Then add the hot liquid to the cold water.
The asparagus and Brussels sprouts use raw garlic, black peppercorns, dried chilies, and thinly sliced onion. These spears have a nice subtle bite.
The peppers and onions use raw garlic, black peppercorns, and mustard seeds. The mustard seeds provide a little tang.
And finally, the cauliflower has raw garlic, fresh rosemary, and one thinly sliced carrot.