I’m not crazy about pickles in general, but love pickled Brussels sprouts. Unlike pickled asparagus or pickled green beans, pickled Brussels sprouts can be difficult to find on the grocery shelf, so every year I make my own. Pickling Brussels sprouts is an easy canning project, very cost effective, and sinus clearing too!
As a child, I used to help my grandmother and her sisters with the canning. I can remember the pungent smell of vinegar filling the house as they all made enough pickles to feed a small army. This recipe is no different. My husband said he could smell the vinegar mixture in the back yard.
Before starting any canning project, it’s always a good idea to brush up on home canning safety tips. Lessons learned at Grandma’s knee might no longer be considered safe. Mother Earth News has published many canning articles that help keep us up-to-date, including the very helpful Home Canning Guide.
This recipe is adapted from one found in The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Carol W. Costenbader.
• 2 lbs (about 6 cups) fresh Brussels sprouts
• 4 garlic cloves
• 2-1/2 cups water
• 2-1/2 cups cider vinegar (5 percent acidity)
• 3 tbsp canning salt
• 1 tsp cayenne pepper
• 4 tsp dill seed
1. Trim Brussels sprouts of old foliage and check to make sure that there aren’t any insect holes. Cut large sprouts in half.
2. Steam the Brussels sprouts in the microwave or on the stove-top until tender, but still bright green. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Pack into four, pint-sized canning jars. Peel 4 garlic cloves and place one in each jar with the sprouts.
3. In a saucepan, combine the water, cider vinegar, canning salt, cayenne pepper, and dill seed. This is the sinus clearing part – bring to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes. Don’t stand over the pot and inhale the aroma!
4. Ladle the vinegar mixture over the Brussels sprouts leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Cap, using the two-piece canning lids and process in a boiling water bath canner or 15 minutes.
You can find my step-by-step Water Bath Tutorial on my website.
You will probably be tempted to try them today, but pickled vegetables should sit at least 3 weeks before opening for full flavor development. Serve these on an appetizer tray or along with a casserole for dinner. Pickled Brussels sprouts are also the perfect late afternoon snack; substantial enough to fill you up, but tart enough that you can’t eat too many.
If you are not partial to Brussels sprouts, you can use this same recipe to make pickled asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, etc.
Renee Pottle is an author, Family and Consumer Scientist, and Master Food Preserver. She writes about canning, baking, and urban homesteading at Seed to Pantry.
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