Here in the South, we have the luxury of an extended summer. The days warm earlier and our favorite summer fruits and vegetables pop up a few weeks before those of our neighbors to the North. By late June and early July, the farmers’ markets are overflowing with all of summer’s ripe bounty. Preserve these next few glorious weeks by pickling everything you can get your hands on. From peaches to crunchy cucumbers, here are 6 pickle recipes that you should be making now!
Carrots are always relegated to winter soups and braises, but in early summer the colors, crunch and flavor of carrots are at their peak. These crisp pickled carrots from Sheena’s Pickles in Austin are packed with lots of fresh, fragrant dill and aromatic pickling spice. For added color, use a mix of orange, yellow and purple carrots. Serve these alongside a charcuterie board, or, do like I do and eat them right out of the jar.
I love this recipe for pickled peaches from Shepard’s Flock Canning Company. The peaches are canned in a brine of apple cider vinegar and sweet spices like cinnamon, clove and allspice. Pile the peaches on a sandwich with pulled pork, or even spoon over vanilla ice cream. Pro tip: peel your peaches before pickling and canning so that the skins don’t get slimy and tough.
Watermelon Rind Pickles
Summer and watermelon go hand in hand in the South. Make the most of the fruit and pickle the tough rind. My go-to recipe is this unusual one from Bon Appetit Magazine that uses a blend of aromatic east Asian ingredients in the brine, such as ginger and star anise.
Pickled Strawberry Preserves
This month, make this clever twist on strawberry preserves from Tara O’Brady’s cookbook Seven Spoons and adapted by prolific food writer David Lebovitz. This recipe falls somewhere between a jam and a pickle and yields a plump, sweet and slightly tart strawberry that is fantastic smeared on a cracker with goat cheese or drizzled over a silky paté.
Bread and Butter Pickles
Come early July, pickling cucumbers are finally hitting the stands at the market. This all-purpose recipe from Serious Eats is my go-to for my favorite kind of pickle, sweet and tangy Bread and Butter Pickles. Be sure to let your cucumbers sit with the pickling salt for at least an hour. This draws out any excess moisture and ensures a crisp bite.
Pickled Cherry Tomatoes
The summer solstice signals the very beginning of tomato season, which spans until the nights start to cool in early October. The first to pop up at the market are petite cherry tomatoes. Follow this guide by the incredibly informative blog The Kitchn for a step-by-step tutorial on how to turn these sweet little tomatoes into versatile (and very addictive) pickles. One helpful thing I learned is to always skewer the tomatoes before pickling so that the brine can penetrate the skin and flavor the juicy insides of the fruit.