One time in college, I had a pickling party. I bought about a gallon of vinegar, a dozen mason jars, and a whole lotta salt. We made classic pickles, pickled onions, tomato sauce (someone brought like 12 boxes of tomatoes? They worked on a farm I guess?) Anyways, it ended up being a lot of fun, but we got kind of lazy and half of the jars we prepped just ended up being quick pickles.
What’s a quick pickle? A quick pickle (aka a quick pick) does not have to go through the canning process and therefore is not actually a pickle, but more of like a marinated vegetable.
In short, to actually pickle vegetables, you need to put whatever you are pickling into a sterile storage jar with a brine/vinegar solution to allow it to ferment- which kills bacteria and in short preserves the food, allowing you to keep it in your pantry for months on end and eat it whenever you want. Usually this is done by placing the vegetables/fruits in the jars with the brine and closing them, then placing them in a “water bath” which helps seal the jars as well as sanitize them.
Well, that’s not what we are doing here. These are quick picks, and they are insanely easy. I think they are great added to any type of taco, or to a grain and vegetable bowl. I even like to plop a spoonful on top of a salad. Really, they just spice up any meal and also very much impress your friends. And while these types of pickles don’t contain the beneficial pro-biotics that pickles such as kimchi or sauerkraut have, they are still delicious and contain pre-biotics, in the form of fiber. So they’re still good for that ‘ol gut.
Unlike regular pickles these need to be stored in the fridge. The recipe below is for red cabbage and carrots because that’s what I had on hand, but you can pickle anything with this recipe really- cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, beets, peppers, whatever.
Quick Pickled Cabbage and Carrots
½ small head of red cabbage
½ cup of shredded carrots
1 cup of white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp peppercorns (optional)
1 Tbsp sugar (optional)
Directions: Put all the ingredients in a glass jar and twist the top. Put in the fridge. Enjoy in a day or two. That’s it. These last several weeks in the fridge.
On a closing note, if you want to put in absolutely zero effort but get some good bang for your buck, I recommend making “college pickles”. I called them that because I made these a lot when I was in college. Instructions:
- Buy a jar of pickles.
- Eat said pickles.
- Keep the brine.
- Chop up a cucumber.
- Submerge cucumber in the brine.
- Put in your fridge.
- Enjoy college pickles in a day or two.
See? You can be a cool chef and homesteader and do pretty much nothing. Lets get pickly.