I made these Pickled Vegetables for our holiday party in December, and they were so stunning and tasty that I made them to give as Christmas gifts. Every year I struggle to decide on an edible homemade gift that is affordable, easy to make in bulk, and not immediately perishable. I had my heart set on mustard this year (which needs to cure for at least 2 weeks) but wasn’t able to find the time or the right ingredients. Maybe next year…
This recipe comes from Food & Wine’s Annual Cookbook 2009. The vegetables need 2 to 3 days to pickle, and can be refrigerated for another 5 days. They are tangy and sweet, infused with fresh ginger, apple cider vinegar and coriander. They are great as a snack or antipasto, or even as a side to a rich meal.
I made the quantity detailed below, and had enough for 20 gift portions (mostly 8-oz Ball Jars, and a few larger containers for bigger families).
Crisp Pickled Vegetables
Ingredients (10 servings)
3 cups cauliflower florets
1/2 lb carrots, quartered lengthwise, and cut to fit container
1 fennel bulb, cored and cut into 2-by-1/2-inch matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-by-1/2-inch matchsticks
1 zucchini (1/2 lb), cut into 2-by-1/2-inch matchsticks
1/2 lb combined yellow wax beans and haricots vert, ends trimmed
3 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tblsp kosher salt
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
3 pinches red pepper flakes
1 tblsp julienned fresh ginger
1 bay leaf
8 garlic cloves, smashed
1. In a large, deep nonreactive bowl or heatproof glass jar, toss together all of the vegetables.
2. In a large saucepan, add the cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, julienned ginger, bay leaf and smashed garlic cloves. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
3. Pour the hot liquid and aromatics over the vegetables and cover the bowl with a plate to keep the vegetables submerged in the pickling liquid. Let cool to room temperature, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the vegetables for 2 or 3 days.
* The drained, pickled vegetables can be refrigerated in a container for up to 5 days.