I have cucumbers and beets coming out of my ears! So I’ve been working on ways to efficiently use them up! So far, the best solution has been to quick pickle them. It’s quick, easy and allows you to enjoy them for a few weeks. They also look beautiful, displayed in the fridge and would be a great, last minute hostess gift:)
No matter what vegetable I’m using, each batch is made with an acid (vinegar and/or citrus juice), a TBS of honey or sugar and is differentiated by the combination of vinegar and/or citrus juice and herbs used.
For the cucumbers:
I simply wash, peel and slice the cucumbers. You can slice them any thickness you choose, just realize that they soften up substantially in the ‘pickling’ process. I’ve made 2 different batches, so far. One with seasoned rice vinegar, which is perfect on an Asian salad with sesame oil, mandarin oranges and greens….or simply on their own! The other batch was made with champagne vinegar and basil blooms.
The beets are washed, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch slices. Then I steam them for 10-20 minutes, depending on the type of beet and the size of the slices. You can tell when they are ready by piercing them with a fork. They will be tender when they are done.
For the beets, I’ve been using champagne vinegar, with citrus juice of 1 lemon, grapefruit or orange. The citrus is just a perfect addition to the beets. For herbs, basil, mint, chives and thyme, all work beautifully.
You only need to fill the container half way with vinegar, lay it on it’s side in the fridge and rotate every few hours to evenly distribute the flavor. They develop the best flavor when soaked overnight.
Alternately, you don’t have to steam the beets! You can simply peel them down into ribbons or shred and pickle them to make a raw beet salad. The same process is effective for radishes and turnips;)
The beets are my favorite! I’m absolutely in love with their gorgeous color! I’ve been adding them to my quinoa salad, with feta, nuts and a hefty spoon of pesto and greens. Or they are perfect on their own, with mozzarella, a sprinkle of basil and a drizzle of olive oil, for a variation of a caprese salad. Plain Greek yogurt is also a good accompaniment. Even people who tell me they HATE beets, love these!
I’ve also tried ‘pickling’ carrots, green beans (steam for 5-10 minutes), radishes, shallots and red onion. Pickling the shallots, radishes and red onion are a great way to tame their strong flavor! They sweeten right up and can be easily enjoyed as a topping for salads, sandwiches, tacos, etc. they will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks!
- any combination of the veggies,
- 1-4 Beets, cleaned, peeled and sliced
- 1-2 Large Cucumbers, peeled and sliced
- 1-2 Shallots, sliced thinly
- 5-8 Radishes, cleaned and sliced
- Fresh herbs of your choice
- Basil, chives, garlic, thyme, etc or a spoon of pesto
- 1-2 cups of vinegar (just enough to submerge half of the veggies
- 1 TBS Honey or Sugar
- 1 tsp of salt to taste
- Large Mason Jars
- Prepare veggies by cleaning, peeling (if needed) and slicing. Add veggies to a mason jar, along with selected herbs, sweetener and salt. If you are steaming veggies, they can go directly into the mason jar, hot. Add enough vinegar to fill the jar halfway. Close the lid and shake well. lay the jar on its side in the refrigerator, making sure to rotate the jar every few hours to evenly soak. for best results, soak overnight, but cucumbers generally take 30 mins! Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks!