You Can Pickle That?

adventures beyond the cucumber

Lauren Fisher

We’ve enjoyed another bounteous summer, but as the chill settles in and fall brings farmers market season to a close, it’s time to consider ways to get the most out of the remaining fall produce. Pickling is a centuries-old technique for preserving foods that involves submerging foods in vinegar, which is acidic and prevents the growth of bacterias, or salt brine, which encourages fermentation. Common pickled treats include eggs, peas, and beets, not to mention the humble pickled cucumber. However, there are endless possibilities for pickling, including some adventurous choices you might … relish.

Peaches

Peel, pit, and halve your peaches to prepare them for pickling! You can preserve these sweet fruits in a brine of vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and juniper berries for a snack with a little heat.

Watermelon Rind

These unlikely snacks are likened to gherkin pickles thanks to their sweet-and-tangy flavor profile. To pickle watermelon rind, slice the fruit, remove the pulp, leaving a thin layer of pink, and cut the skin off of the outside of the melon. The brine is made with apple cider vinegar, cloves, peppercorns, allspice, and ginger.

Avocado

This veggie, frequently associated with millennials due to its trendiness, can be made into pickles worthy of snacking and sandwich garnishing. Stir up a brine with white balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, rosemary, lemon, and peppercorns for a savory flavor.

Nasturtiums

The seeds of nasturtium flowers can be pickled using a simple brine of pickling vinegar, sugar, and salt. They’re rather hot and peppery on their own, but the pickling process cools the fiery sensation. The result is sometimes called “poor man’s capers,” and can be used to add some spice to chicken or fish, or as a pizza topping.

Cheese Curds

We didn’t have to go there, but we did. Pickled (or brined) cheese curds are a flavorful take on a Wisconsin classic. This process isn’t a great pick for preservation, as it lasts in the refrigerator for only about two weeks. Create a marinade with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, chives, oregano, and shallots and let those curds rest in the refrigerator until about an hour before you want to serve them.

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