Quick Pickles

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The ploughman’s lunch—aged cheese, pickles, and country bread—is a staple of British public-house menus. Here, spring vegetables are soaked in a simple brine to yield crunchy pub-worthy pickles that pair perfectly with a crumbly Cheddar and a pint of beer.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (500 g) mixed vegetables, such as okra, carrots, green beans, red onions, beets, asparagus, and/or radishes
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp (kosher) salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp peppercorns

Method

Have ready two 1-pint (16–fl oz/500-ml) jars. Trim the vegetables, making sure the okra, carrots, and green beans are ½ inch (12 mm) shorter than the height of the jars, and slicing or quartering the onions, beets, and radishes to easily fit.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) water, the vinegar, and the salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the salt.

Place 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove, and 1 teaspoon each mustard seeds and peppercorns in each jar. Divide the vegetables in half and pack half into each jar, making sure they reach no higher than within ½ inch (12 mm) of the rim. Ladle the hot brine over the vegetables, leaving ½ inch (12 mm) headspace. Let cool completely, then cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend. The pickles will keep for up to 1 week.

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