Ever since I was a kid, summer was always a season for canning and pickling in our house. When I was little it was really hard to buy fresh veggies in the middle of the winter in Poland, so everybody always made sure that they have plenty of canned and jarred food. During the summer everything is in season, ripe, fresh and cheap, so it's the perfect time to do your pickling. I'm sure I already mentioned many, many times that I am a huge fan of pickled veggies (all of them), so of course I had to do some "housewifing" and make my own assorted pickled vegetables. Here is my recipe (made 6 large jars):
* 1 cauliflower, cut into small pieces
* 2-3 cups fresh green beans, cut into halves
* 3 red bell peppers, cut into pieces
* 1 1/2 cup small white onions
* 5-6 garlic cloves
* 12 cups water
* 2 cups white vinegar
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1 tbsp salt
* 10 allspice berries
1. Blanch the cauliflower and green beans in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and put into ice water to stop the cooking.
2. To prepare the pickling liquid, combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and allspice berries and boil for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and keep slowly simmering.
3. In a large pot, boil the jars and lids for couple of minutes. Remove one jar from boiling water, fill with combination of veggies, add one clove of garlic to each jar, add boiling pickling liquid, cover with hot lid and close tightly. Repeat the process with remaining jars and veggies.
4. Place filled jars into a pot with boiling water (make sure that water doesn't touch the lid) and boil everything on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
5. Place on the kitchen towel and let it cool and seal. To make sure it's sealed check if the lid "popped" - it might take up to 30-40 minutes.
I like my pickles really acidic, so if you are not fan of it, you might want to cut down on vinegar. Regardless the recipe, your best bet is always to taste it as you go... and if you need to add more vinegar and sugar to make it to your liking, go for it. You can use it on sandwiches, as an appetizer, as a side dish... whatever floats your boat! I love pickled veggies, so I have no problems finding a "use" for them.