Regardless of the season, there are always pickling opportunities to take advantage of abundant produce. Whether preserving fresh fruits or vegetables, canning chowchow relish, or fermenting cabbage, foods captured at the height of their flavor will surpass any store-bought item. With our delicious recipes for Pickled Brussels Sprouts, Sauerkraut, and Pickled Beets, you’ll be pickling to perfection in no time! Enter to win a pickling prize pack from Jarden Home Brands with a green and purple Ball brand canning jars, a band tool, funnel, and labels.
Fermentation requires less equipment, but more waiting time before you can enjoy your recipe (as with the sauerkraut below). The most important aspect of following these recipes is temperature control. If at any point you see mold at the in the jar, toss it and begin again.
If you can make a cake from scratch, you have all the kitchen aptitude you need to start canning. Like baking, canning and fermentation involve a level of food science, but we’re here to simplify it. Home canning is simply home cooking by another name. Let’s first address the primary concern behind the idea of home preservation: botulism. Botulism is a low-incidence/high-consequence food-borne illness, but it is very simple to prevent. Low-acid foods such as meats, fish, dairy, and eggs must be processed in a pressure canner at a specified pressure and time to avoid risk. However, high-acid food, including most fruit preserves and vegetables, can be safely preserved using the boiling-water method (used in these recipes).
- 3 cups distilled white vinegar
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup pickling salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
- 6 bay leaves
- 21/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved and blanched
- In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar and next 3 ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.
- In each of 6 (16-ounce) jars, place about 10 peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed, 1/4 teaspoon celery seed, and 1 bay leaf.
- Divide blanched Brussels sprouts evenly among 6 (16-ounce) canning jars; add vinegar mixture to cover. Seal jars; refrigerate for 48 hours or up to 1 month.
- 1 head green cabbage (about 3 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon caraway seed
- Remove outer leaves from cabbage. Cut cabbage head into fourths lengthwise; remove core, and finely shred.
- In a large bowl, toss together shredded cabbage, pickling salt, sugar, and caraway seed. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Using a clean, heavy plate that fits inside the bowl, press down on cabbage mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 2 to 24 hours, stirring and then pressing down on mixture with the plate every hour until enough liquid is released to cover cabbage by at least 1 inch. (Note: if the cabbage doesn’t release enough liquid, combine 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon pickling salt to make a brine to add to mixture).
- Place a large zip-top resealable plastic bag filled with water over the plate to weigh it down. Cover container with a clean dishcloth or a loose-fitting lid, and let stand in a cool place out of direct sunlight to ferment for 2 to 3 weeks.
- While the sauerkraut is fermenting, replace the dishcloth with a clean cloth every 2 to 3 days; skim off any white residue that forms on the surface of the cabbage, and clean and replace the plate. If any discolored cabbage appears at the top, remove and discard it. If the water level gets too low, add enough brine to cover. (The cabbage must be submerged completely in brine to ferment safely.) If you see any mold at the surface, discard sauerkraut. The sauerkraut is ready when it has a slightly crunchy texture and pleasantly tangy flavor.
- Transfer undrained sauerkraut to canning jars; seal jars. Refrigerate for up to 2 months.
- 2 pounds fresh red, gold, or Chioggia beets, cleaned and tops trimmed
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup pickling salt
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 20 fresh thyme sprigs
- In a large Dutch oven, add beets and water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain, and let cool to room temperature. Peel beets and dice.
- In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.
- In each of 2 (16-ounce) jars, place 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice, 1/4 teaspoon ground clove, 1/4 teaspoon mustard seed, about 5 peppercorns, and 10 fresh thyme sprigs. Divide beets evenly among jars; add vinegar mixture to cover. Seal jars; refrigerate for 48 hours or up to 1 month.
Click here to get our additional pickling and preserving tips and for our web exclusive Easy Bloody Mary and Fried Pickled Green Beans with Spicy Dipping Sauce recipes.
Resources: canning jars, Ball Brand Home Canning, Jarden Home Brands