If you love the crispy, tart, salty flavor of a dill pickle, then you'll probably enjoy just about any pickled vegetable! In the article How to Pickle Anything (No Canning Necessary) from Eating Well, they explain how to pickle your produce, from cucumbers and okra to beets and peppers.
3 Tips for Pickling Success
Most water is suitable for pickling, but hard water may interfere with the process and discolor the produce over time. If in doubt, use purified water.
Feel free to experiment with apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar if you're making refrigerator pickles. If you plan to can your veggies, use a vinegar that is at least 5% acetic acid.
Use pure sea salt with no additives or salt labeled "pickling" or "canning" salt. Additives in table salt or kosher salt can make the brine cloudy.
Wash and cut your produce in the shape you'd like them to be pickled. Certain veggies work better if they are blanched first (briefly boiling them). Eating Well recommends blanching beets, Brussels sprouts, carrots, ginger, green beans, okra and peppers.
To blanch: Bring 16 cups of water per pound of prepped vegetables to a boil in a large pot. Add the vegetables, cover, return to a boil and cook for 2 minutes (cook beets for 5 minutes). Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl of ice water to cool; drain.
Divide the vegetables among 6 pint-size (2-cup) canning jars or similar-size tempered-glass or heatproof-plastic containers with lids.
Mix and match both dry and fresh flavorings. Don't be afraid to experiment with different flavor combinations. Here are some suggested flavorings to try:
Dry Flavorings (amount per pint jar):
1 Bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon Celery seed
1-3 small whole Dried Chile peppers
1/2 teaspoon Cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon Dill seed
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon Pickling spice
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
Fresh Flavorings (amount per pint jar):
1 fresh Habanero or Jalapeño pepper
2-4 sprigs sliced or whole Dill
1/2-1 whole large clove, sliced Garlic
2 3-inch strips fresh (peeled) or 1/2 teaspoon prepared Horseradish
1 sprig fresh Oregano
1 tablespoon sliced Shallot
Make either sweet or sour brine using these recipes:
Sour Pickle Brine
Makes: 6 cups
Combine 3 cups distilled white vinegar (or cider vinegar), 3 cups water, 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sea salt and 2 tablespoons sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the salt is dissolved. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Sweet Pickle Brine
Makes: 6 cups
Combine 3 cups distilled white vinegar (or cider vinegar), 3 cups water, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sea salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Fill the jars with brine to within a 1/2 inch of the top, ensuring that the vegetables are completely covered. Place the lids on the jars. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Refrigerate turnips and okra for at least a week before serving. Pickled veggies will keep in the fridge for up to one month.