3 Ingredient Pickle Brine - Quick Pickle ANYTHING
It's the middle of Summer, and if you're like me, you have an abundance of ripe veggies coming out of your garden. Or maybe you've been grocery shopping and bought some veggies just because they were on sale but don't have a clue what to use them in. And now, you need to use all those veggies before they go bad.
There's only so many things you can do with tomatoes and cucumbers before you're ready to just start leaving them on neighbors' doorsteps. But before you start abandoning your bounty to rot on others' porches, have you considered preserving your perfectly ripe veggies for a time when ripe veggies aren't plentiful?
I get it. The idea of pickling and canning is an intimidating one. Traditionally, you need large quantities of one type of vegetable, copious amounts of jars, a huge pantry for storage, and not to mention, a large pot of boiling water to seal your jars in the peak-heat of summer.
Fret not my friends, fore I have a solution for you that addresses all of these concerns. Let me introduce you to my friend; the quick pickle! This is my method for preserving small amounts of different veggies with just one easy, super quick, brine. No heat, no large boiling pots or massive amounts of storage required.
The brine is simple - only 3 ingredients, and you can use it to pickle everything from okra, to tomatoes, to cucumbers. You can go straight brine, or you can add in dill, peppercorns, garlic, jalapenos, or any other herbs you want to up the flavor ante. Then you cut your veggies how you want, fill the jars with veg, herbs, and brine, and then just stick them in the fridge. The best part is, with this quick pickle brine, your pickled veggies are ready to eat in just a few days.
NOTE: Because these are quick pickled and not sealed in a pot of boiling water, they ARE NOT shelf stable. They must be kept in the fridge and thrown out if you notice any mold or off colors. That being said, these will keep in the fridge for up to a year (or maybe even longer) as long as they are properly stored.
Prepping your veggies is simple and just a matter of preference.First, make sure to thoroughly wash all produce. When deciding how to cut your veggies up, consider how you're going to use the end product. Sliced jalapenos work well for nachos, while whole green tomatoes are great in bloody marys' - like I said, preference.
Whole Veggies: If you wish to leave them whole, I recommend using a small paring knife to poke holes in the veggies. This helps the brine get in there. I did this method with green tomatoes, banana peppers, and jalapenos.
Spears: Spears are most commonly used for pickles (pickled cucumbers) but feel free to try it with zucchini or eggplant - really any long veggie.
Slices or Rounds: Beets, radishes, peppers, and cucumbers are all good candidates for slices, and this method actually pickles quicker than the others because surface area and ya know, science - look it up.
Below you'll find the brine recipe, my method for making the brine, and a few of my favorite flavor combinations to get you started. But feel free to get creative!
3 Ingredient Quick Pickle Brine
4 c water
2 T salt
2 c vinegar
Other items needed:
Jars of desired size - be sure to double the brine recipe as needed to fill the amount of jars you have.
Veggies - washed and prepped.
Flavor enhancers - whole peppercorns, dill, jalapenos, red pepper flakes, garlic cloves, etc.
Add water to a sauce pan over high heat.
Bring to a boil and add salt. Stir until all the salt has dissolved.
Turn off heat and add vinegar to pot. All to cool slightly before adding to jars.
While the brine cools, prep your veggies as desired. Add veggies and any flavor enhancers to your jars (see combo ideas below), leaving at least 1/2 to 1 inch of head space.
Pour brine into jars over veggies and gently tap each jar on the counter to help remove air bubbles.
Allow to cool complete. The brine level will go down as air leaves the jars and brine fills the veggies. Top each jar with additional brine to be sure that all veggies are covered.
Place lids on all jars and place in the fridge.
Our Favorite Flavor Combinations:
Pickles: cucumbers spears, garlic, whole peppercorns, fresh dill.
Spicy Pickles: cucumber spears, garlic, whole peppercorns, fresh dill, a jalapeno cut in half.
Pepperoncinis: sliced banana peppers, whole peppercorns, garlic.
Pickled Jalapenos: sliced jalapenos, garlic, a few slices of carrot.
Green Tomatoes: whole green cherry tomatoes (with holes), garlic.
Other flavor enhancers: mustard seeds, rosemary, onions, bay leaves, shallot
Other veggies: asparagus, long beans, zucchini, tomatillos, okra, beets, radishes