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Gift-a-Pickle

December 15, 2010

 

This year, Scott and I discovered the wondrous world of pickled vegetables. Yes, I’ve always been a fan of the delicious and classic Kosher Dill. And there’s a big place in my heart for Bread and Butter Chips. However, I never even thought about pickling vegetables other than cucumbers, until a dinner out at Varga Bar led us to try pickled brussels sprouts and carrots. We haven’t been the same since! So, since usually around the holidays I get uber-creative and take on too many homemade projects, I decided I wanted to gift some pickles! Below is an in-depth how-to, for some amazingly delicious, and very seasonal tasting pickled brussels sprouts and carrots.

You will need:

  • 6 – 1 quart, wide mouth mason jars
  • a very large pot (think lobster-sized)
  • a small saucepan
  • a canning rack or metal vegetable steamer that fits into the large pot
  • can lifting tongs, or long metal tongs
  • 4 lbs brussels sprouts
  • 2 bags carrots

Brining Liquid

  • 6 cups water
  • 6 cups white vinegar
  • 4 TBSP kosher salt

Spice Blend (per jar)

  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3/4 tsp whole allspice
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

1. Sterilize the jars. Fill the large pot with water place the rack or steamer on the bottom. Submerge the jars (not the lids) into the water and bring to a simmer. Keep the jars in this pot until ready to fill. Do the same with the lids in the small saucepan and leave them simmering until ready to use.

2. Prepare the vegetables. Slice the bottoms off the brussels sprouts. Rinse well and remove outer leaves. Slice an “X” into the top of each one. Boil a pot of water and blanch brussels sprouts for one minute, then remove and place into a bowl of ice water. Scrub and rinse carrots, but do not peel. Slice in half width-wise and then once or twice again length-wise, depending on thickness. Blanch carrots for one minute, then remove and place into a bowl of ice water.

3. Fill Jars. Using tongs, carefully remove the jars from the simmering water and place onto a tea towel, being careful not to tough them with your hands. Add the spices to each jar, and then fill with the vegetables.

4. Prepare the Brine. In another saucepan, combine the brine ingredients and bring to a boil. Carefully distribute brine evenly amongst filled jars.

5. Cap and finish. Carefully place sterilized lids on the jars and seal tightly. Place the closed jars back onto the rack in the large pot of simmering water. Cover and return to a boil. Let process for 15 minutes at a gentle but steady boil. Remove jars from pot. DO NOT tighten the lids. Let cool on tea towel for 12-24 hours, wipe clean and store in a cool, dry, dark place.

Pickles will be deliciously seasoned and ready to eat in 2-3 weeks. Gift to friends and family, or just eat them yourself! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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