A juicy, crispy pickle is the perfect addition to a sandwich or hamburger. Though here in the U.S., we use the term “pickle” to mean the classic cucumber in vinegar, The term “pickle” is derived from the Dutch word “pekel,” meaning brine. Pickling is a process that has been used for thousands of years across several cultures to preserve vegetables for long periods of time. To pickle vegetables, basically you make a brine out of vinegar and your choice of spices like salt, pepper, garlic, dill, and Mustardseed. Pack the veggies and brine together in a jar, seal for a couple days and store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 months.

If you’re a fan of the show Portlandia, you may have seen the “we can pickle that!” skit where Carrie and Fred literally say they could pickle just about anything. Funny enough, there’s a bit of truth to this when it comes to veggies, since you can pickle almost any vegetable, not just cucumbers. Here are some veggies you can pickle and how.

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Radishes

Some people may not like the taste of the raw red radishes, but pickling them completely changes the taste. In this Indian Radish Pickle, use several spices such as red chili powder, grated ginger, sesame seeds, and black mustard seeds. After you cook the mixture, you will let the radish pickle cool thoroughly and then store in small jars for up to six months. Try pickling radishes in another spice mixture like dill and garlic next.

Cucumber

This is the classic one that you’ve probably had; now try pickling your own cucumbers rather than buying them in a jar at the store. You want to choose firm cucumbers; if they are too soft, you will have mushy pickles. Sliced cucumbers lengthwise and pack them into jars, leaving about half inch of headspace in each jar. You will need to add the spices you prefer such as dill and garlic, as well as the vinegar. Place a top on the jar, shake and let it sit for twelve hours. Then, shake again and let sit for another 12 hours, then transfer to the refrigerator.

Mushrooms

First, clean and trim the stem ends off mushrooms. Over heat, add vinegar, water and salt in a large pot, stirring to dissolve the salt. Add the mushrooms and heat to boiling then reduce the heat and simmer the mushrooms for about ten minutes or until tender. Pack into jars and add spices like pepper and garlic.

Tomatoes

Try pickling red cherry tomatoes and green tomatoes. Heat vinegar and spices like dill, pepper and mustard seeds until the ingredients have dissolved together. Pour that brine into jars and add the cherry tomatoes. You can let the mixture sit for up to three months.

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Banana Peppers

Pickled banana peppers are great on sandwiches, salads and pizzas. To make, bring vinegar, sugar, mustard seed and celery seed to a rolling boil. Place peppers into jars and pour the pickle juice over top, leaving a half inch of space.

Try your hand at pickling your favorite vegetables and enjoy them over your favorite plant-based dishes.

Image source: Indian Radish Pickle

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