Rainbow Pickles in Weck

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With lots of fresh vegetables on the horizon for summer, we're getting creative with new pickling techniques and our favorite Weck jars in all shapes and sizes. In search of a way to make fresh pickles all season, we asked terrain's resident food expert, Susan S., for advice. She suggested a quick and easy method: cold pack pickling. Unlike traditional canning, cold pack pickling doesn't require a water bath or pressure canner, making it simple to have pickles on hand throughout the summer. The brine mixture is simply poured over jars of raw vegetables or fruit, which are then stored in the fridge during and after the pickling process. The result is fresh, crisp, and colorful pickles all summer long!

Susan says, "Depending on what's in the garden, I make a variety of different cold pack pickles. For mixed vegetables, I use a basic pickling brine recipe (see below) that you can dress up with any herbs or spices you like. I layer a wide variety of vegetables in a tall Weck jar to form a rainbow, or fill a smaller jar with just one or two types. I also love to make sweet and sour pickled beets with hardboiled eggs -- the eggs look so pretty when they're cut! When I have fresh carrots, I make Gingered Pickled Carrots using a recipe from A New Turn in the South by Hugh Acheson. And during cherry season, I make Sweet Paul's pickled cherries, which are delicious in cocktails or served with a blue cheese."

Pickled Rainbow Vegetables

Basic Pickling Brine
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons Kosher salt
Fresh dill (or any other herb you prefer)
Optional: pickling spices, dill seed, coriander, mustard seeds, and/or red pepper flakes

Combine all brine ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend.

Select your fresh vegetables, wash thoroughly, and cut to size based on the jar you've chosen. Pack the chopped vegetables tightly into the jar. When packing the vegetables, you can also add fresh herbs, ginger root, pepper flakes, or black peppercorns.

Make sure the vegetables are tightly packed, then ladle the hot brine into the jar. Clamp the lid securely into place. Refrigerate the jar for at least five days, which allows the vegetables to pickle, and enjoy! Keep any remaining pickles refrigerated.

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