Guys— it turns out that homemade pickles are super easy to make. A few weeks ago, I found this Design Love Fest recipe. The pretty colors and the promise of decorating my regular, weeknight chicken tacos with those gorgeous red onion and jalapeño pickles inspired me to make my own. The result: pretty great. It only took a few minutes to prepare the brine in the morning, and my veggies turned into pickles by dinnertime (although the flavor got stronger and tastier throughout the week).
As you might guess from the photos, I tried this recipe with radishes, jalapeños, and red onions. I added some orange peel (on suggestion of the Design Love Fest chefs) to the red onions, and it turns out they're my favorite pickled thing ever. They're a bright, citrusy punchline to my avocado toast, eggs, tacos, and everything else I eat them with. I also put a little piece of raw ginger in with the radishes, which added an earthy, spicy component I feel worked really well. My least successful endeavor was the jalapeños, which more or less retained their spiciness and didn't take on the flavor of the brine as much as the other veggies. Next round, I'm going simmer them in the brine before I jar them, to see if that better incorporates the flavors.
To try the recipe yourself, either check out this Design Love Fest post OR take a look below (I basically copied the recipe right over, but customized the quantities and ingredients to my specific approach).
Note: the quantities of each vegetable as well as the brine recipe will fill one pint jar each.
1 large red onion
1 small bunch radishes
6 (approximately) jalapeños
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Slice the veggies into medium-thin rounds.
2) Make the brine
Bring the vinegar and water to a simmer in a saucepan. (I tripled the recipe, since I made three different types of pickles.) Incorporate the salt and sugar into the brine, then add whatever brine "accessories" you desire. I chopped a few garlic cloves in half and added those along with a dash of black peppercorns (about 35 if I had to count— but remember, I tripled the recipe).
3) Jar it
Separate your veggies into the pint jars, and pour the hot brine over them. (At this point, I also added a piece of peeled, raw ginger to the radishes and two pieces of orange peel to the red onions.)
4) Occupy yourself
Put your pretty, colorful jars in the fridge and then go about your day. As I mentioned, mine tasted like pickles after only half a day had passed— so you won't need long.
5) Be surprised and delighted at how many dishes you can enjoy these with.
Good job! You made pickles— and it wasn't hard! I'm not sure why this was a revelation to me. In any case, I've been thrilled at just how many dishes these work with— in addition to tacos, avocado toast, and scrambles, I've been adding them to salads and cold pastas. I even think the red onions (although I haven't tried it yet) would work well with a lox and bagel brunch.