Tag Archives: carrots

Pickled vegetables

It’s summer, and with summer, comes more time to cook and more things to cook with: farmer’s market vegetables! Yesterday, I did a little experiment with my grandmother’s family pickle recipe and tried pickling some of my own vegetables. But here’s the catch: Paul hates pickles. So, I had to modify the recipe to make it taste like something Paul does like: our recipe for blanched kale with a dressing of sauteed onions and jalepenos in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Here’s how I did it.

Spicy Pickled Vegetables

Step 1: Choose your vegetables

My choice of vegetables was heavily inspired by things I’ve had pickled successfully in the past: carrots, green beans, cauliflower, celery, red pepper, and cucumbers. I cut all of them into chunks that would pickle in roughly the same time and could also be eaten easily in one bite.

Step 2: Make your pickle juice!

The next order of business is to make your pickling liquid. My recipe was loosely based off my Grandma Martha’s pickle recipe, but modified to (hopefully) suit Paul’s taste. Here it is:

The page from my recipe book that I copied my Grandma's recipe onto before coming to Bloomington.

7 cups water
3/4 cup cider vinegar
about 3/8 cup balsamic vinegar
3/8 cup salt
2 tsp sugar
1 jalepeno, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
1/4 large onion, roughly chopped
1+ clove garlic, rough chopped

Heat all of the above ingredients in a saucepan, covered, just until boiling and then remove from heat and keep covered until ready to pour over vegetables.

Pickle juice on the stove

Step 3: Clean your jars.

This step is essential. Even though we’ll be pickling with the help of the refrigerator (and not the old fashioned way), it’s key that your jars (and tops) be extremely clean, because otherwise you’ll have mold growing in your pickles in just a few days and they won’t last for weeks like they will in clean jars.

Step 4: Build your vegetables.

Layer the vegetables into the jars in any order you please. You can do separate sets of vegetables in each jar, or mix and match. I like to mix because it looks pretty.

All in: green beans, carrots, celery, red pepper, and cauliflower.

All ready to be pickled!

Step 5: Pickle!

Pour the pickle juice over the vegetables, seal the jars, and put in the fridge. Test the vegetables every day or so, to see when they’re pickled to your desire of doneness. It can be anywhere from a day to a week, depending on the type of vegetables, the size of the slices, the temperature of your fridge, and your personal tastes. We’ll be trying ours tonight. I’ll keep you posted!

Sealed up tight!

Sitting tight in the fridge, pickling away.


White and Red Bean Meatless Cassoulet

A recipe for a great comfort food. Serve with warm bread and salad.

(Modified from Cheap. Fast. Good! By Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross)

DSCF62533 cans drained and rinsed great northern beans
1 can drained and rinsed red beans
1 can diced tomatoes (small, or petit diced are best)
3 or more stalks of celery
3 large carrots
1 onion
2 large tablespoons minced garlic (or 4 cloves fresh)
1 cup water
olive oil, once around the pan
salt and pepper, to taste
Italian seasoning, to taste (rosemary, thyme, marjoram, bay leaves, sage)

Chop the onion, carrots and celery and put in bottom of soup pan (or dutch oven) with water, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer on medium-high until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes). Add drained beans, tomatoes (in their juice), italian spices. Stir and heat on medium until hot all the way through and veggies are desired texture. Garnish with celery leaves, or whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. Serve with warm bread and a salad for a complete meal.

My fresh out of the oven, homemade white bread made with just a bit of wheat flour for color.

My fresh out of the oven, homemade white bread made with just a bit of wheat flour for color.

Variations: You can really use any canned beans you have on hand, just make sure they’re fairly unseasoned (or italian seasoned, if anything – just not Mexican). You could also add to this soup Italian sausage, ham, leftover chicken, pork, whatever meat you have on hand. For a little more spice, you could add red pepper flakes at the end of cooking, or as a garnish. Either way you make it, this soup is delicious and very filling.