Typically reserved for the later summer months, the method of pickling foods originated as a means of preserving the summer bounty so there would still be healthy, delicious produce to eat in the harsher fall and winter months. But pickling is ideal for spring produce, as well. It enhances the bioavailability of the nutrients in the vegetables, enhances their natural flavor profiles and lets you hang on to the sweet, delicate nature of spring just a bit longer. Learn to pickle your favorite spring veggies with this simple recipe formula.
There is truly an abundance of produce at the farmers markets this month: Sweet peas, wild ramps, green garlic, white asparagus, miniature tender squashes—I could eat these delicate, invigorating spring foods year round if they were always available fresh. Luckily, by pickling them with a simple vinegar solution, their freshness can at least be preserved well into the heat of summer. Use this simple recipe formula to keep your favorite spring veggies around.
Pickled Spring Veggies Formula
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 sprigs fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon dill or celery seeds
- 1 to 2 pounds fave spring veggies (try baby carrots, pattypan squash, red radishes, ramps, spring onions or green garlic)
- Combine water, vinegar, sugar, zest, dill, salt and seeds in a medium pot; bring to a boil over high heat. Add vegetables to pot; remove from heat, cover and allow to steam for 5 minutes.
- Transfer vegetables evenly into sterilized mason jars. Pour pickling liquid over vegetables; liquid should cover vegetables in jars. Cover and refrigerate a few days for a milder pickle, or a few weeks for a stronger pickle. Once opened, use within a few weeks and store in fridge.
Image: Kimberley Stakal