Once, when we were in Halifax, Nova Scotia, we ate at a restaurant that had “quickles” as part of their salad course (above). Quickles? Vegetables that are quickly pickled, came the answer.
And then last summer Smitten Kitchen ran a post about making pickled vegetables, which I tried, and which we loved. We would mound them up on summer sandwiches, changing the sandwich from ho-hum to wow! this is great!
Here’s my first jar of quickled vegetables. I have since bought fancier jars at the local Container Store, with nifty snap-on lids. I love how these look, all layered up with color.
Pickled Vegetable Sandwich Slaw with Mustard Seeds
1 cup distilled white vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 cup cold water
Slaw mixture: 4 to 5 cups mixed slivered or julienned* firm, raw vegetables (see above for vegetable suggestions, below for slicing tips)
Heat vinegar, sugar, salt and mustard seeds to a simmer in a small, non-reactive pot over moderate heat, stirring only until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in water, which should bring the mixture’s temperature down significantly. Let cool to lukewarm.
Divide vegetables between jars. (I used two 3/4 liter jars.) Pour vinegar mixture over vegetables and refrigerate until needed. You’ll find the vegetables to be lightly pickled within an hour, and deliciously pickled within a day. They will get slightly more pickled as they sit, but the change shouldn’t be too dramatic from the 24 hour level. Keep the vegetables submerged in the brine for a longer shelf life (about 3-4 weeks).
*Smitten Kitchen used a mixture of radishes, red, orange and yellow bell peppers, carrots, fresh sugar snaps, ruffly cabbage and kirby cucumbers, but you can use any firm, crunchy vegetable you think would pickle well here. She noted that the red radishes changed everything to pink, so you may want to try a Japanese Daikon radish (it’s white).
This pickling idea must be the “new” thing, as now Sur La Table has a class in pickling. Their display looks like more traditional pickling, with a soaking time and a canner/processesing time. The recipe above is quick, easy and delicious.
I did use a mandoline to help cut my vegetables as well as this tool, which looks like a reverse slotted vegetable peeler (shown below). Protect your fingers at all times!