5 Things to Pickle: Thinking Beyond the Cucumber

I do not like cucumbers. This statement frequently brings confused looks and surprised exclamations like, “what could possibly be displeasing about a cucumber?!” I do, however, like pickles. And though gardens tend to go wild with cucumbers, which can lead to a bounty of dill and sweet pickles, there are other vegetables (and fruits!) that grow in abundance and can benefit from pickling.

Radishes, with their nice spicy bite have only a couple of uses in our home (salads, mostly), so an abundance of them will only go to waste. Enter pickled radishes. Quick pickle them in 24 hours, enjoy for weeks. Overwhelmed with tomatoes yet? Pickle them green. Like the radishes, you can pickle green tomatoes in a jar in your refrigerator (they take three days, instead of the one day radishes take). And they last about 2 weeks—you know, if they actually last that long.

If you’re in love with kimchi like I am, perhaps making an Asian Pickled Cabbage would satisfy the craving? This I do not know, as I have never actually had pickled Asian Pickled Cabbage, but it sure sounds like an easy substitute. The big difference here: rice wine vinegar rather than white vinegar. Pickle some shredded carrots for a sweet and spicy snack or as an addition to your Asian style salad, top your sushi bowls, or include as an ingredient in eggrolls. Be ready for some cooking and canning with this recipe. Also, a mandoline slicer is a helpful tool here.

Pickled red onions are an excellent addition to summer favorites: top burgers or hotdogs, salads and cheeseboards. And they’re practically a necessity on fish tacos. Really, it’s true that you can pickle just about any vegetable you have growing in your garden or that you pick up at the farmer’s market. Try dilly green beans, broccoli, or cauliflower. There are so many possibilities that don’t include cucumbers.