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Tips, video and photography provided by Heinen’s partner, Chef Billy Parisi.
Pickling is a fantastic way to preserve fresh produce, so I am here to show you how simple this technique really is!
Pickling and canning food has been around for generations. When so much fresh produce came out of the field that it could not all be eaten, people started to pickle and can it in an effort to save it for the winter months.
The process begins with a very simple brine!
How to Make a Pickling Brine
In a large pot, whisk together distilled vinegar, water, garlic powder, or fresh garlic cloves, if desired, mustard seeds, sea salt, sugar and crushed red pepper flakes.
There are tons of other ingredients that you can add in to this brine. Allspice berries and cinnamon sticks would be delicious, or you can even use fresh dill if you want that dill pickle-style flavor.
Get creative! This is a very basic pickling brine, but it will work on everything!
Once the brine is whisked together, take the pot over to a cooktop and turn the heat up to high so that it reaches a nice rolling boil. This will allow the flavors to cook together and ensure that the sugar and salt are absorbed into the liquid.
Short Term Canning
Once the brine reaches its desired consistency, take it off of the cooktop and allow it to cool to room temperature.
While the brine is cooling, add vegetables of your choice to individual Mason jars. I chose to use cauliflower, baby carrots, red onions and green beans, but you can use any veggies you desire.
Once the brine is completely cool, ladle it into each Mason jar so that the veggies are submerged.
All there’s left to do is twist the top of the Mason jar on tight and store in the refrigerator. It will be perfect to share the next day, but will last in the refrigerator for up to eight weeks.
Long Term Canning
If you want your pickled food to last for up to a year, all you have to do is put the top of the jar on as soon as you pour the brine in and submerge it in boiling water until the lid pops.
Once the lid pops, let the jar cool to room temperature and store it in a dark, dry and cool space until you are ready to serve up to one year later.
Like I said earlier, this age-old food preservation technique is simple, delicious and a great way to get creative in the kitchen!