If your vegetable gardens were productive this season, and we hope that they were, you may have so many vegetables that you don’t know what to do with them all.
We all long to stretch out the growing season and extend our harvests for as long as possible, but often, we still find ourselves longing for homegrown produce once the growing season has ended. Pickling vegetables is a fantastic way to add flavor diversity to your crop and allow your fresh vegetables more longevity to be on hand throughout the entire year.
We’ve highlighted the best pickling vegetables that go above and beyond the traditional cucumber pickle and pack a sweet and tangy punch.
Swap out traditional cucumber pickles and opt for a treat that retains textural integrity, crispness, and tenderness while gaining a sweet and tangy flavor profile. Homegrown asparagus is one of our top pickling vegetables as it can be versatilely used as a:
- Salad Topper
- Appetizer pairing to create an elegant crudites platter
- Standalone crunchy snack
- Substitute for traditional pickles on a burger
- Heat as an unexpected side dish paired with kielbasa or pork chops
Bring your crop from garden to jar and pickle your beets so that you can munch on these colorful, vitamin-packed vegetables all year long. Beets are high-fiber foods rich in essential nutrients, including folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C, which work together to lower blood pressure, aid in digestion, and improve blood flow throughout the body.
Tips for choosing the best beets for pickling include:
- Harvest young, early maturing beets
- Large beets can be too woody in texture and make them unappealing for eating in the pickled form.
- Deep red or gold beet varieties provide the most robust flavors, more vibrant juices, and more tender pickled beets.
Take the sweet crunch of your homegrown carrots to a whole new level by pickling them. Carrots are a top-notch pickling vegetable. The process of pickling can preserve your carrot harvest as you work to create a full pantry of homegrown produce. Carrots are beneficial to your health as they have been known to improve eye health, aid in weight loss and digestion, boost heart health, lower blood pressure, and boost immunity.
Slip pickled carrots into your dietary routine in some of these unexpected ways:
- Pair a pickled carrot with a deli sandwich, replacing the traditional pickle accompaniment.
- Create ginger pickled carrots to accent a ramen bowl.
- Make a spicy batch and serve with pulled pork or barbecue.
- Add pickled carrots to salads for some zest.
- Munch on them for a crunchy snack right from the jar.
- Add them to a cheese plate or charcuterie board.
Why settle for the same old type of traditional pickles? Spice things up a bit by pickling your cauliflower harvest instead! Pickled cauliflower can be enjoyed on its own as a healthy snack with oodles of zesty flavor and a nice snap. It is also phenomenal as a surprising salad topper or paired with any of your favorite meats when heated as a side dish.
Pickled garlic may sound obscure, but it is surprisingly appealing. Unlike its raw counterpart, pickled garlic is relatively mild and sweet, and it can be used in many unexpected ways. One of the reasons garlic is one of our top pickling vegetables is because garlic has excellent health benefits and is immensely versatile in the kitchen.
Here is how to use pickled garlic in your meals:
- Use as an accouterment to a charcuterie board or cheese tray.
- Saute it with vegetables for a unique flavor.
- Add to pasta salads.
- Use as a condiment on burgers and deli sandwiches.
- Use it to make garlic bread.
- Flavor your meat and seafood with pickled garlic.
Pickling vegetables like green beans is a snap and allows chefs and gardeners to infuse immense flavor into every bean without impacting its crispy crunch. We love pickled green beans in salads and can’t resist snacking on them right out of the jar! You can even pickle them with garlic for a whole new level of deep flavor.
Are you looking for an excellent topper for nacho platters, burgers, pizzas, or sandwiches? Pickled jalapenos can elevate any dish and be personalized by the spices you infuse into your pickling recipe.
Here are some ideas for adding new flavors to your pickled jalapenos for remarkable culinary impact:
- Cumin seeds
- Mustard seed
- Chili flakes
Consider using homegrown okra as a spinoff to your average cucumber pickle. Pickled okra can be eaten right out of the jar or substituted for a traditional pickle on burgers, sandwiches, deli accompaniments, or any time you crave a tangy and crunchy bite.
Pickled onions might rank as the most versatile of all of our favorite picking vegetables. They are easy to pickle and preserve to store for many months, making your onion harvest readily accessible whenever you need it.
We promise that you will regularly go to your pickled onion jar to insert a little zing to:
- Beef roast
- Salads (pasta and traditional mixed greens)
Who says Peter Piper is the only one who can pick a peck of pickled peppers? Peter must have been on to something because peppers are high on our list of pickling vegetables. Whether it be for simple snacking, adding color and immense flavors to nachos and sandwiches, or the ideal addition to a classic cold bean salad, pickled peppers are a must-have in any pantry.
Elevate the level of your food offerings at your next cookout or appetizer spread by adding pickled radishes to the mix. This fast-growing and high-performing vegetable makes it a fantastic succession crop to grow throughout the growing season to produce a robust crop of radishes.
Radishes have immune-boosting characteristics and reduce free radicals in the body, detoxifying the body. Radishes can be freely swapped out for the traditional pickled cucumber for an unexpected culinary thrill.
Pickling tomatoes combine the traditional pickle and the tomato slice into one and stand out on sandwiches and burgers. They can also be diced and added readily to pasta and house salads as well as toppers on fish tacos. Additionally, suppose you find yourself with many green tomatoes at the end of the season. In that case, creating pickled green tomatoes is a fantastic way to process and preserve the remaining harvest. Enjoy playing around with pickling different varieties of tomatoes.
Last but not least, on our list of pickling vegetables are turnips, particularly early tender turnips. For many, turnips are an acquired taste, but they are a root vegetable that has some fantastic health benefits. They are low in calories, high in fiber and vitamin C, and can improve your digestive and cardiovascular health.
Popular in Middle Eastern cuisine, pickled beets are often paired in the jar with turnips, turning them into a deep pink hue. Add them to falafels or try them out with other favorite dishes. So, if you find yourself with more homegrown turnips than you bargained for, pickling them can make them a much more palatable way of integrating them into your diet.