I have known a woman named Pickle, and also a cat. The cat was so-named because of her extreme sourness. In fact, she was described as “Too Evil To Die.” I don’t know about the woman. She seemed a pleasant enough lady. According to Babycenter, which offers “expert advice” on names, seven babies per million in 2014 were given the name “Pickle.”
Recently, GoodFoodEveryday contributed a recipe for Vietnamese pickles to Littlerock. I decided that I had to try it. I am a pickle lover, and keeping pickles about the place helps me eat more vegetables. You might think that as a vegetarian, I get plenty of those, but it’s all too easy to fill up on carbs instead. The only way I will eat brussels sprouts is in pickled form, which removes the bitterness and makes them soft enough for my misaligned molars.
I also tend to scorn turnips–unless they are presented in pickle form. I love those pink Middle Eastern pickled turnips that come in a really good felafel sandwich. Good Food’s recipe for Vietnamese pickles (perfect for a bánh mì sandwich) uses turnips with the carrots instead of the more traditional daikon radish. I happened to have a few turnips sitting in the fridge, courtesy of the Long Suffering Husband (he usually does the shopping, and has been known to Go Rogue). Best of all, the recipe is easy and quick.
First you coat the veggies in salt and sugar, so that they yield up their water (Oh, the wonders of osmosis!). Then you rinse off the salt and sugar, put the aspiring pickles in mason jars, and top them with a brine of vinegar, water, sugar and salt. I put a garlic clove in each jar too, and some red pepper flakes. Refrigerate for at least an hour (they are better the longer they sit), and voilà. The perfect little nibble for those late morning cravings…
They look so pretty in the jar, too. My favorite pickled anything is my great-grandmother’s pickled watermelon rind. It’s not pretty but it sure is tasty.
I don’t think I’ve had pickled watermelon rind. Sounds tasty and thrifty, too!
Same recipe for Brussel sprouts? I have some baby ones in the freezer. If they’re still good, I would try it.
I think it would work if you don’t mind them still being crunchy.
While I don’t like pickles that you buy at the store, I have found I do like them when they’re homemade.
I can see naming a cat “pickle”…I use the name as a term of endearment. But to actually name a human that is just evil!
Yes, my perception of this woman was always colored by the fact that her name was Pickle. Maybe it was just a nickname, but everyone called her that!
Oh these look super tasty LM. I need to get off my butt and make some pickles, loving them as I do. Did you bother with the whole sterilising the jar malarkey? Pickled Brussel sprouts sound the business!
For refrigerator pickles I don’t worry about sterile jars. I only bother with that if I am actually canning them and planning to let them sit on a shelf for months…
I am so making me some of these!,
I am so making me some of these!
oh yuuum!!!! i love pickles! love most things sour, apparently when i was a baby i used to like chewing on pickled gherkins 🙂 Still do i might add. Have had loads of versions, including watermelon, which wasn’t my favourite 😉 Aubergines, green tomatoes (un-ripened ones), etc. I prefer the ones soured in the sun rather than with vinegar, but those are more complicated to make and you need proper summer sun. I like gherkins like that but especially carrots and cauliflower. We used to have these big 20-30kg glass jars at my grandmas and put them in with dill, mustard seeds, salt and garlic cloves and set them in the sun and they would sour. And have them all winter, i miss those so much!
Ah also another delicacy are pickled mushrooms – honey mushrooms. On my top 10 favourite things to eat, those were the speciality of my other grandma.
I think you may have incentivised me to dig up those all recipes. Unfortunately i won’t be able to do the sun soured ones but the ones you suggested sound great and i may add some cauliflower and radishes to the mix. I’me getting bored with having salad, plum tomatoes, peppers or cucumbers with my lunch, time for a spice up 😉 I may change the chilli flakes for horseradish sticks if i can find some here..
Do you heat up the pickling juice?
Yes, I bring the brine to a boil before pouring it over the veggies. The recipe didn’t call for that, but since I don’t sterilize the jars, I thought it was a good idea, and also that it might help soften up the veggies.
What wonderful memories of your grandmother’s pickles! They sound so good, especially with the dill, mustard seeds and garlic. That’s a delicious combination. I’ve never used the sun method, or even heard of it! It must be a natural fermenting process. I can see how the flavor would be quite different.
yes it is natural fermentation and quite tricky as the thing is for them to go sour, without going fizzy but stay hard! ( i swear i am still talking pickles here 😉 i might try it sometimes as it is sour but without the harshness of vinegar.. Essenitally it is the same process as obtaining Sauerkraut, ie salt based 🙂
Ah, yes, salt-based. I have thought of trying to do sauerkraut or kimchee, the Korean version of sauerkraut. But I have been too worried about the science experiment aspect of it. I know with kimchee, you don’t need the sun. You just put it in a cool place and wait.
Ha ha at “too evil to die” – I might steal that some day 🙂
I figured that might catch your attention 🙂 That Pickle was the original Grumpy Cat!
I like him too 🙂 I might actually BE him 🙂