Easy Summer Pickling
Cucumbers and beets get all the credit when it comes to pickles. We like to do things a little differently though- because variety is the spice of life, right? Some of the tastiest things grow once the weather heats up, and pickling is a great way to capture and repurpose some of that bounty to enjoy year ‘round. Whether you’re looking for interesting sides at your next cookout, or just want something tangy to snack on, you’ll get a lot of mileage out of Chef Gray’s spin on pickles.
Bacon Bros. tip: Pickled blueberries make for a great addition to your charcuterie board. These tart bites also serve as a delicious accoutrement to any salad and pair well with creamy dishes like ripened goats cheese.
Two 2-inch cinnamon sticks broken
1 teaspoon whole clove
1 teaspoon allspice berries
1 ½ cups red wine vinegar (merlot)
2 quarts firm blueberries
2 cups sugar
Tie the spices in cheesecloth. In a pot boil the vinegar and spices. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the blueberries to the pot. Cook over medium heat just until they are heated through, shaking the pot instead of stirring to avoid breaking the berries. This should take about 8 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let it stand for 12 hours. Pour the blueberries and the liquid into a colander set over a bowl. Remove the spice bag and transfer the drained berries to sterile pint jars. Return the liquid to the pot and add the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil the syrup for about 4 minutes to thicken slightly. Pour the syrup over the drained berries. Process.
Bacon Bros. tip: Pickled ramps are the perfect topping for any taco and can be used in an aioli for fish, meats and vegetables. The possibilities are endless.
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon pink peppercorn
1 bay leaf
2 pounds ramps, cleaned with tops removed
Combine the vinegar sugar with one cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the mustard, coriander, and fennel seeds, as well as the peppercorns and bay leaf. Keep warm over low heat.
Cook the ramps in a large pot of salted water until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and then rinse them under cold water to slow cooking. Place them in a large bowl or jar pour the hot vinegar mixture over the ramps and set aside or cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least three days before serving.