Pickled Vegetables... Yes, You Are Missing Out!

Pickled Vegetables... Yes, You Are Missing Out!

MarnaMaria Pickling Spice

Pickled vegetables. Not a super common ingredient, right? We'll we're here to convince you that it should be. 

The uses for pickles or pickled vegetables go far beyond sticking some cucumbers in vinegar to have a tangy condiment for your burger. But that concept is spot on.

Cooking is all about balance. You are always searching for the perfect combination of flavors that balance and complement each other. And when you do it right, you get that toe curling, explosion in your mouth, oh man that's good taste.

One ingredient that is super simple to use to add flavor and to make food taste better is fat. Fats like butter are super delicious and and incredibly simple to add to food. You can add a lot, you can add a little, and generally, it's pretty hard to mess up. (The one exception that I can think of in my cooking history was in one batch of Thanksgiving Crack Stuffing. Butter and bread are the main ingredients here but I got carried away with the butter.)

So butter or fat is great way to add flavor, but what we are searching for here is balance. So for every fat ingredient, you need to have a component to balance it out. This is especially true with fats as they tend to be heavy, dull, sticky flavors that stay on your tougue and in your mouth. Good but at the same time, not super fresh.

Fresh!

Keyword, especially in today's cooking. Recently, our bartender, aka on of GQ Magazine's Top 50 Bartenders of the Year, two years in a row, told me the secret to his drinks. "Fresh," he said, "Everything Fresh." Fresh squeezed juices, especially citrus juices like lemon, lime, and orange are what helps put his cocktails over the top. 

Freshness is a taste the keeps our palate hopping and asking for more. Freshness in citrus can help balance our sugars and overly sweet flavors and also help cut through dullness in drinks or in food. This is a great reason why a squeeze of lemon on your fresh fish or in cream sauces bring food to the next level. And it's this concept that leads to the real point. 

You make something, you taste it, it's good but it's missing something. Nine times out of ten, that something that is missing is acidity. A little kick of acid can go a long way in brightening and lightening up a heavy dish. Examples of this being adding some lemon juice to a cream sauce, or a splash of cider vinegar in Cuban picadillo. It cuts through the delicious fat flavors and lifts them up.

So what does all this have to do with pickled vegetables?

Pickled vegetables are the perfect vehicle for adding acidity and texture and flavor. A quick pickle will give you a great acidity but will still retain that crunchy texture. A longer pickle will really begin to break down the vegetables leaving you the perfect topping for a sandwich or burger or even better, how about some Korean Bibimbap!

The uses for pickled vegetables are endless and there vegetables that you can pickle are about limitless. How about some red onions in your taco, anyone? Mix with some olives, chop them up, add a little olive oil and you have a killer steak topping. They go great with some BBQ pulled pork as a tangy play on slaw and the beautiful colors are the perfect addition to an antipasti platter.

If you haven't pickled, this is your time!


What's In Season Pickled Vegetables

Ingredients

6 cups of vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, peppers, beets, fennel, asparagus, red onion, cauliflower...)

2 tbsp. MarnaMaria Pickling Spice

2 1/2 cups of water

2 1/2 cups of vinegar (we like apple cider)

1/3 cup of sugar

3 tbsp. of kosher salt

2 large Mason jars

Directions

  1. Chop and cut vegetables into bite sized pieces.

  2. Fill each mason jar to the top with mixed vegetables leaving about an inch or two of room at the top.

  3. Add one tbsp. of MarnaMaria Pickling Spice to each mason jar.

  4. in a saucepan make the pickling brine by combining the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt over medium heat Let simmer until sugar and salt have dissolved.

  5. Pour the brine into the mason jars so that the vegetables are completely covered.

  6. Cover the jars and let sit at room temperature for a couple of hours until the jars are cool to the touch.

  7. Place in the refrigerator and allow to pickle. Pickles should be ready to eat after about 8 hours but will only improve with time.

Makes about four cups


Get MarnaMaria Pickling Spice Seasoning Blend Here!

 
Pickling Spice
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Try our MarnaMaria Spice Blend for Pickling, a great mix of mustard, dill, coriander, bay leaves, cinnamon, red pepper, and other spices. 

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