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Spicy Quick-Pickled Vegetables

October 5, 2009


No supper club would be complete without a parting gift. We sent our guests home with individual jars of quick pickles, vegetables that marinate for just a few days before you pop open the jar and dig in.

They’re easier than regular canning – no intensive process of sterilizing the jars. And they’re fresher: because the pickles are always refrigerated, the vegetables soak up the spice and vinegar, but don’t lose any of their crunch.


Anything can be pickled – root vegetables, beans, peppers. Crunchy pickled onions make great, tangy toppings for tacos or pork buns. And there’s always a jar of pickled jalapenos in Judy’s fridge (and now ours) for sprinkling on fried rice, steak or just eating straight from the jar.

For these, we sliced carrots, radishes and a kaleidoscope of hot peppers. It just takes a few minutes to boil the vinegar and spices, slice some veggies and ladle into jars.


Spicy Quick-Pickled Vegetables

Makes a small batch – approximately 1 jar

2 cups white distilled vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
T. black peppercorns
T. minced garlic
T. mustard seed
t. salt

vegetables of your choice, thinly sliced (use a mandolin for best results)

Combine first six ingredients in a non-reactive pot, and bring to a boil.

Once it boils, dump in vegetables. Turn off the heat, so the vegetables stay crisp.

Ladle immediately into clean canning jars. Let them sit in the fridge for at least three days, and up to three weeks. If you’re planning on keeping them longer, you need to sterilize the canning jar.

Once opened, enjoy the pickles soon while they’re still fresh.

Note: This recipe makes for some powerful, tangy pickles. If you prefer a milder mix, I’d recommend swapping in half water-half vinegar, and adding a touch of honey. I highly recommend this recipe, which we used to pickle spring onion greens.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2009 4:08 am

    I feel terrible. I have dinner parties all the time, and I don’t think I’ve ever sent anything home with anyone as a parting gift! This is the perfect idea, and I love how colorful it is. Bookmarking for next dinner party:)

  2. Liz permalink
    October 5, 2009 7:33 am

    Lori – If we made gifts every time people came over for dinner, we’d spend all our time pickling! But for our first supper club, where we’re taking things up a notch, it seemed like a fun way to end the night. Another simple idea I love is here:

  3. Susan permalink
    October 5, 2009 12:59 pm

    OK, how’d you stack the jars?

  4. Liz permalink
    October 5, 2009 2:01 pm

    I had some photo assistant help for that one…

  5. Judy permalink
    October 5, 2009 2:16 pm

    I just had some of the pickles with an omelet. They are exactly like Liz: tangy, a little spicy, and a touch sweet.

  6. October 5, 2009 8:16 pm

    I am blown away by the colors in the pictures.

  7. October 5, 2009 8:19 pm

    Can I just say I love the photos!! Wow…. gorgeous and colorful! You really are back, aren’t you? I don’t check for three days and I am waaaay behind..:)

  8. October 6, 2009 5:40 pm

    I love your blog! So happy to have come across it! Your photographs are so striking. Great job with the pickle. Now why don’t I have friends who send me home with a jar of pickle?

  9. October 6, 2009 6:32 pm

    Bloody hell Liz!!! (if you’ll ‘scuse my French) Those pictures!!! Are Outstanding! Best ones I’ve seen in months, truth be told.

    Three thumbs up, and I give you an A star.

  10. Liz permalink
    October 6, 2009 6:48 pm

    Simone – That whole earning a living thing intruded for a minute, but now I’m back and ready to cook.

    Colloquial Cook – hahhaa, thanks Claire.

    Soma & Purple Foodie – thanks for stopping by!

    Judy – I popped my jar open early last night too and wow, we did not skimp on the chilis! They are fire-breathingly delicious. And I love the radishes, despite never having a fond feeling for a radish before.

  11. October 6, 2009 9:55 pm

    incredible photos and a really, really lovely idea. Can I ask – where did you get your jars?

  12. October 10, 2009 7:50 am

    How lucky are your supper club guests! These pickled veggies are so beautiful, I am going to definitely try this one.

  13. October 14, 2009 11:05 am

    I actually am headed to the farmers market today to get banana peppers to pickle. How long do they last in the fridge?

  14. Liz permalink
    October 14, 2009 11:10 am

    Hi Miranda – They’re supposed to keep for up to 3 months, unopened. Then you’re supposed to eat them within a week of opening, though I’ve been eating my most recent jar for the last two weeks with no problems. Banana pickles sound fun – good luck!

  15. October 23, 2009 5:25 am

    great party gift indeed! great looking shots.

  16. lada permalink
    November 2, 2009 2:14 pm

    did you ever try to eat these pickles? they are so sour that they become inedible, I made them by your recipe, and I think I will have to throw them away unfortunately…to much vinegar!

  17. Liz permalink
    November 2, 2009 3:07 pm

    Hi lada – too bad, I’m sorry to hear that. I tend to like a lot of vinegar. It’s also worth noting that we ate our pickles within a few days.

    If you like it on the sweeter side, you can do equal parts water and vinegar instead, and then add a little honey to cut it. Here’s a milder mix you might like better.

  18. lada permalink
    November 3, 2009 9:21 am

    thank you, it will have to be half half, cause this was just too much! (p.s. what % was the vinegar you used?)
    great pics, btw.😉

  19. Liz permalink
    November 3, 2009 11:59 am

    We used 100% vinegar. I like them really tangy, and actually used the vinegar itself, once it was spicy from the chili, on foods like stir-fried vegetables.

    But you’re right that these bear little resemblance to what people might call pickles. I’ll note the distinction in the recipe, so people know what to expect!

    The other recipe I provided gives a subtler, sweeter pickle, closer to what you might buy in the store. The pickled ramps (early spring onions) were mild enough that we used them in martinis, and were absolutely delicious.


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