30 May 2011

Winey-Briny Pickles

I am having so much fun preserving each seasons harvests both at home and with The Boulevard Market's monthly class!  In May we focused on Michigan seasonal produce of radishes, rhubarb, asparagus and mushrooms.   Out of several recipes, the Winey Briny Pickles, courtesy of Food & Wine magazine, had to be one of my favorites! 

Our family adores crunchy pickled vegetables, especially with cheese and bread as a snack.  We are not fans of most prepared refrigerator pickle mixes and I don't like to add turmeric, because then all of my vegetables are this weird, outer-space yellow color. 

A beautiful view of the vineyards of Sancerre

We usually have a bit of white wine hanging around for cooking and sipping, so in this recipe, I used some Sancerre.  Sancerre (white) is from the Loire Valley of France and is always Sauvignon Blanc.  Crispy and bright with great acidity and a wonderful undertone of mineral-ity, it's refreshing to drink and not quite as in-your-face grapefruit flavors as New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.
LOVING Weck jars from Germany!

Because radishes are in season I threw a few into my jars.  Do keep in mind that they will turn your brine PINK, so I plan to eat my pickles this week and pitch the pink brine after radish season!  Use any vegetables available, carrots, parsnips, onions, cucumbers, cauliflower etc.  They all turn out fantastic and your brine will last about 6 weeks in the fridge...so just keep refilling the jar!

Winey Briny Quick Pickles (Food and Wine magazine)

3 Tablespoons kosher salt or sea salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons whole mustard seeds
3 cups chopped vegetables (radishes, onions, cucumbers)
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 ¼ cups white wine vinegar (I've successfully used rice vinegar too!)
Tarragon sprigs

In a bowl combine all ingredients but vegetables and tarragon sprigs.  Stir until dissolved.
Pack vegetables into clean jars and top off with liquid.  Cover and store in fridge up to one month.  You can add more clean vegetables to brine as they are eaten.

I love using a combination of both yellow and black mustard seeds and when the tarragon looks funky, I replace it with Chervil or thyme or chive blossoms!          

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