Monday, February 6, 2012

OUT WITH THE SWEET AND IN WITH THE SOUR - Pickled Vegetables

Christmas comes but once a year.  Therefore, it is never too early to start thinking about food and gifts.  Sometimes those two thoughts merge into one.

For years, my basket of "treats" for guests to take home or for me to take as a guest has been orange marmalade.  This past Christmas, I decided a change was in order when I found this recipe in Southern Living.

I'm posting it now for three reasons.  It's a tasty treat to have in the refrigerator.  It's a tasty treat to take as a thank you when invited to dinner.  Lastly, I found out last week that my friend's husband had really liked the pickled vegetables and, since Christmas, had just been adding additional vegetables to the brine in the jar I'd gifted them with.  Well, Steve, now you can start out fresh.


Winter Vegetables Pickled as inspired by Southern Living Magazine

2 cups apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
8 cups of assorted vegetables cut into about 1 1/2 inch pieces

1.  Bring the first seven ingredients and 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large, non-aluminum, saucepan, stirring until the sugar and salt is dissolved.  Boil for one minute.  Allow to stand for several hours.

2.  In the meantime, cook the vegetables, in batches, in boiling water to cover for 1 to 2 minutes depending on the vegetable and your desired crispness.  Remove to a cold water bath to stop the cooking process and drain well.

3.  Place the vegetables into a large bowl.  Heat the warm vinegar mixture until a few bubbles appear and pour over the vegetables and let stand for one hour.  Store in airtight containers and cover with the liquid.  Chill overnight.  The pickled vegetables will keep for about two weeks refrigerated.

ENJOY!