pickled vegetables with a kick

pickled vegetablesI’m relatively new to the canning world and, although at times it feels a bit overwhelming, there are a few basic principles that help me better understand preserving food.  Some things are easier to put by than others and acid has a lot to do with it.

It seems that lemon juice and vinegar are the go-to mediums for preserving just about anything.  I began last year and so far had success with naturally high-acid food like preserving meyer lemons and canning tomatoes; next came pickled beets and they turned out well, too.

But when I don’t want to pull out the big canning pot, it’s nice to have a quick and easy way to preserve a bunch of veggies hanging around the fridge.  This recipe uses a lot of the same ingredients as giardiniera except here the vegetables are cooked and there’s no oil so it will last in your fridge a lot longer.  I used Indian spices like curry powder and cumin but it would be great as a Mediterranean style as well.


  • 1  head cauliflower, cut down to small florets
  • 3  carrots, julienned or sliced crosswise
  • 2  celery stalks, julienned or sliced crosswise
  • 1/2  to 1 onion, sliced
  • 1  red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 quarts white vinegar
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespooons salt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 12 cloves
  • pinch red chili flakes, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spices


  • Run several pint jars through the rinse cycle in dishwasher; leave them in there when done to keep warm
  • Clean jar lids with hot soapy water; set on dish towel to dry
  • Wrap spices in triple layered cheesecloth or place in a spice bag
  • Fill a large stockpot with water; bring to boil
  • Add vegetables to pot and boil 4 to 5 minutes; drain
  • Return empty pot to stove, add sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard and spice bag; bring to boil
  • Let it keep boiling for a few minutes, then add vegetables
  • Turn down heat, simmering vegetables for a few minutes
  • Take off heat and allow to cool a bit before ladling into the clean warm jars
  • Be sure to fill with liquid to top, leaving only about 1/2 inch of head space
  • Place a square of doubled-up plastic wrap over the mouth of each jar, then tightly screw on lids
  • Allow to cool on counter; store in refrigerator

pickled vegetablesThis will last in your fridge for several months if you fill and seal the jars well.  I have popped open a jar after many months and it tasted like I made it last week.  Lip-smackin good!

For me having the right equipment can make a potentially messy job ~ such as ladling hot liquid into small jars ~ less daunting.  A canning funnel like the one I mentioned in this entry helps me avoid big spills.  More fun less mess!

8 comments on “pickled vegetables with a kick

  1. Dr Dan says:

    Can’t wait to try this!

  2. soffiagudrun says:

    Delicious! I hate throwing away food. Canning is the way to go, and I sadly don´t do it enough! This is a recipe I will try.

  3. Gorgeous! I love how prettily you arranged the jar – mine always look like a 5-year-old jammed it all in.

  4. This looks so good. I’m going to have to try it! I just posted about pickled asparagus yesterday. So yummy!
    Enjoy your Sunday

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