Besides being a way to preserve foods in the old days when they didn’t have refrigerators, later on, it also became a way to preserve produce with its very short growing season. Vegetables, fruits, and other foods needed to be harvested and preserved so they could be enjoyed through the long, harsh winters.
My taste buds have grown to appreciate and crave the salt, sweet and sour taste of pickled foods; It’s also a wonderful way to add texture and an ‘accent’ to dishes, and I even use the pickling liquid that is leftover in salad dressings and marinades for other dishes.
You’ll see pickled vegetables on very “koldbord” (smorgasbord) in Norway…from being their own salads to being accouterments for open-face sandwiches and bigger main meals, they are a staple in the Scandinavian diet.
The key to delicious, flavorful pickled vegetables is of course… the pickling liquid!
While mine might require a few more ingredients that traditional recipes, I think you will agree once you try it that it’s worth it – and most of these you might even have lying around in your spice cabinet anyway. You can use this recipe for any pickled dish you are looking to do, and it really adds so much flavor you will want to maybe drink it (although I don’t recommend it!)
I pickled both cucumber and beets this past week which I’ve enjoyed on open-face sandwiches smeared with a lentil pate (which I cooked up in my last online cooking class) and also enjoyed as a side with juicy meatballs and even put them on tacos! 🙂
Would love to hear if you will try it out and what vegetables, produce, or food you are going to try it on!
BEST PICKLING LIQUID EVER
1 cup white vinegar (or sub rice vinegar)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
1x 2-inch piece fresh ginger
2 allspice berries
2 juniper berries
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp kosher salt
1-2 cinnamon sticks
7-8 fresh thyme sprigs
1 piece star anise
5 black peppercorns
Place vinegar and water in a medium stockpot and bring to a boil, whisk in sugar and salt to dissolve. Add all the other spices and allow to steep for 20 minutes.
Slice and prepare whatever vegetable(s) you are pickling and place in a sterile canister jar. Pour the liquid over to cover and let completely cool in the refrigerator before screwing on the lid. Keeps in the fridge for about 1 month.
- 1 cup white vinegar or sub rice vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 x 2-inch piece fresh ginger
- 2 allspice berries
- 2 juniper berries
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks
- 7-8 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 piece star anise
- 5 black peppercorns
- Place vinegar and water in a medium stockpot and bring to a boil, whisk in sugar and salt to dissolve. Add all the other spices and allow to steep for 20 minutes.
- Slice and prepare whatever vegetable(s) you are pickling and place in a sterile canister jar. Pour the liquid over to cover and let completely cool in the refrigerator before screwing on the lid. Keeps in the fridge for about 1 month.