Pickle Recipes for the Picking

Ferment or quick pickle your harvest with this assortment of homemade pickle ideas from MOTHER EARTH NEWS bloggers.

| June/July 2017

After seeing the variety of salad dressing recipes and tips our bloggers submitted for the April/May 2017 issue, we decided to call on them again — this time for their favorite pickle recipes. Reflected in the bloggers’ submissions is this welcome food-preservation truth: You can pickle just about anything. They’ve given us a variety of ideas — asparagus, beans, beets, and even eggs. Some of their homemade pickle recipes are true fermentations, taking advantage of the lacto-fermentation process. Others are “quick pickles” or “refrigerator pickles,” reliant on refrigeration. We hope this collection of methods and ingredients will spark your creativity in preserving your most prolific produce this season.

Kristi Quillen

Spicy Asparagus Pickles

By Kirsten Shockey

The worldwide practice of pickling has produced long-lasting and tasty veggies for millennia — lacto-fermentation is the original “quick pickle.” With a little salt and time, the process does all the work.

Asparagus is one of the season’s first truly great pickling vegetables, and if you have a good patch, it’s abundant. There are very few ways to preserve the sublime flavor of fresh asparagus. Fermentation comes close. In this recipe, the fiery burn adds a fun element. I use dried chile peppers to add spice because fresh hot peppers aren’t in season at the same time. If you want a mild pickle, simply omit the red pepper flakes and only add 1 to 2 dried chiles to the jar.

• 1 to 2 pounds asparagus spears
• 3 to 4 whole cloves garlic, peeled
• 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp black peppercorns
• 4 to 5 whole dried red chile peppers, such as cayenne or bird chiles
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 grape leaf (optional)
• 2 to 3 cups brine, made by combining 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp unrefined salt in 1 quart unchlorinated water

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