Fruit of the Brine

Ask Whitney Ariss, co-owner of The Preservery, why she loves pickling and she’ll say, “Let me count the ways.” 1. Pickling preserves seasons, “especially here, where growing periods can be painfully short.” 2.You can use almost any vegetable and even fruit (like peaches and heirloom tomatoes). 3. Non-canned fridge pickling is super simple. “If you can boil water, you can make fridge pickles,” she adds. Here are two recipes that will turn leftover produce into a real treat. 

pickled-jars

IN A PICKLE FROM LEFT: HOT GIARDINIERA, PICKLED ONIONS, AND WHISKEY HEIRLOOM TOMATOES. Photo by Cassandra Stiltner

PICKLED ONIONS
INGREDIENTS
1 large red onion
1 cup white vinegar
2 cups water
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 dried red chile

DIRECTIONS
Peel and slice onion into thin round (or half-round) slices. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil and add onions. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place in jars and refrigerate. Onions are ready right away but can cure for a few days.

HOT GIARDINIERA
INGREDIENTS
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 jalapeño peppers, sliced
2 large red bell peppers, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
2 large celery ribs, sliced
1½ c. olive oil
4 c. white vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. celery seed
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS
Combine cauliflower, peppers, carrots, and celery in a large glass jar. Whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over vegetables (make sure they are covered; add vinegar if needed) and refrigerate. Let pickle at least two days.

WHISKEY PICKLED HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
INGREDIENTS
2 pounds green tomatoes (whole if using cherry tomatoes, sliced if using a larger variety)
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
1 small onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 serrano pepper, sliced
¼ cup bourbon

DIRECTIONS
Place tomatoes in jars or other glass containers for storage. Bring vinegar, water and the onions and spices to a boil and simmer for five minutes. Pour hot liquid over tomatoes and allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least three days.

PICKLE LIKE A PRO
1. Blanch anything with a thick skin. “Things that already taste good raw typically don’t need to be blanched,” Ariss says.
2. Always taste your brine.
3. Fridge-pickled veggies are ready within a week, but can stay good for months.
4. The longer that spicy brines soak into vegetables, the hotter they get.
5. To make sweet brines, add sugar or honey.
6. Save leftover brine. Ariss says it’s a great ingredient for cocktails, salad dressings, potato and other salads, and more.

THE PRESERVERY
Backyard on Blake
3040 Blake St.
303.298.6821

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