Pickled Collard Greens

Pickled Collard Greens

I get the most amazing collard greens from my CSA. Sometimes I get an overwhelming amount of amazing collard greens from my CSA. It’s a challenge I gladly accept. I’m always trying to think of interesting ways to prepare them. This morning I put a Boston Butt pork roast in the crockpot with dinner plans for pulled pork sandwiches on homemade Focaccia bread. I was staring into the fridge and the idea of pickling the collards popped into my head. I have pickled mustard greens before and enjoyed using them as a condiment. Why not collards? Y’all, they turned out so good. They were excellent on the pulled pork sandwiches. I kind of wish I had made a double batch.

These sweet and sour collard greens would also make an excellent side dish. Just cook the collards until tender (about 20 minutes longer than stated in the recipe) and serve warm. I could easily drink the pickling/cooking liquid. : )

Pickled Collard Greens

1 large bunch of collard greens
2 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Wash and chop the collard greens. I usually remove the center ribs from the leaves before chopping.

In a pot over high heat, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the chopped collards and cook for 5 (for crunchy collards – these are actually better after a few days in the fridge) to 20 (for use right away as a condiment or side dish) minutes. Let the collards and pickling liquid cool and then transfer to a large Mason jar. Refrigerate at least several hours (a couple of days is even better) before use.

Dill Watermelon Rind Refrigerator Pickles

Dill Watermelon Rind Pickles

This is the second recipe I made with the rind I had from the Bradford watermelon I got a week or so ago. I wrote a little bit about the Bradford watermelon here. Bradford watermelons have a rind that is perfect for pickling because it is a bit thicker than what you find on most readily available watermelons.

Bradford Watermelon

Typically, at least in the South, watermelon rind pickles are sweet and seasoned with spices such as cinnamon and cloves. I’m not a big fan of sweet pickles, so I wanted to try making them as I would cucumber pickles, savory with dill. I loved the way they turned out.

Dill Watermelon Rind Refrigerator Pickles

watermelon rind from 1/4 to 1/2 a watermelon (depending on size)

1 1/2 cups vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon kosher salt

3 garlic cloves, peeled
black peppercorns
dill seed and/or dill weed

3 pint-sized Mason jars, sterilized

Cut the watermelon rind into strips about 1-inch wide. Cut off the outer green skin. Next cut off any remaining pink/red flesh. Cut the rind into 1-inch pieces. You want about 5 cups of watermelon rind chunks.

Bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the watermelon rind chunks and cook 1 minute. Cool slightly.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Add one clove of garlic, 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1/4 teaspoon dill seed, and 1/4 teaspoon dill weed (or 1/2 teaspoon of just dill seed or just dill weed) to each of the 3 Mason jars. Divide the watermelon rind chunks and brine between the jars. Make sure the watermelon rind chunks are submerged in the brine. Wipe the rim of the jars with a paper towel and screw on the lids. Place in the refrigerator. Wait at least 1 week before eating.



Candied Jalapenos

Candied Jalapenos

My jalapeno plants have done really well this year and I have gotten a bumper crop. I was thinking about making a jalapeno jelly with some of the peppers, but run across a recipe for Candied Jalapenos and gave it a go instead. It has been four weeks since I made the first batch and they are now ready to eat. They are amazing! So addicting. They are a nice balance between sweet, hot, and sour. My jalapenos are super hot, so they make me hiccup. Even with the hiccups and burning lips, I think I could easily eat the whole jar. I think these Candied Jalapenos will be great on Vietnamese rice vermicelli (bun) dishes, as well as on sandwiches and tacos.

Candied Jalapenos 2

I found the recipe I used for Candied Jalapenos here.

I would highly recommend wearing gloves while working with the jalapenos. Trust me.

Sliced Jalapenos

Candied Jalapenos 3

Canned Candied Jalapenos

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Refridgerator Dill Pickles

Making refrigerator pickles is incredibly easy. The key is using cucumbers specifically for pickling (or using cucumbers you grew yourself). Do not use those dark green things typically found at the grocery store. Their skin is thick and has wax on it. This recipe results in crunchy, tart dill pickles. If you like your pickles with a bit of kick, add a serrano pepper that has been cut in half or a teaspoon of hot chile flakes.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Makes 1 quart

2 kirby (pickling) cucumbers
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons Kosher salt (or pickling salt)
1/2 teaspoon dill seed
1/2 teaspoon dill weed

Bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat as soon as the solution comes to a boil. Let cool slightly. Meanwhile, wash the cucumbers, trim off ends, and cut vertically into spears. I cut the cucumber in half, cut the halves in half, and then cut the quarters in half for a total of 8 spears. Place the cut cucumber spears, garlic clove, dill seed, and dill weed into a clean quart-size Mason jar. Pour the pickling solution over the cucumbers and screw on the lid. Allow to cool on the counter and then refrigerate. For best results, let pickle for 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge before eating.

Quick Pickled Jalapenos

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I planted 8 jalapeno plants in my garden this year. So far they have survived the copious amounts of rain we have gotten, leaf-footed bugs, and hornworms. They are producing a fair amount of peppers, although they are not as hot as we would like.

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Last week my husband was out of town and I picked a bunch of peppers. I decided to pickle them since I could not eat them all by myself. These quick pickled jalapenos are not processed in a water bath, so they are kept in the fridge. I actually like them this way because they stay a little crisper. If you would like, add some sliced carrots to the jalapeno and onion mix.

Quick Pickled Jalapenos

10 fresh jalapenos
1/2 small onion, slivered
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons Kosher salt (or pickling salt)

Bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat as soon as the solution comes to a boil. Let cool slightly. Meanwhile, wash the jalapenos and cut off stem end. Slice into rings (or cut into quarters), Place the jalapenos, slivered onions, and smashed garlic clove into a clean Mason jar. Pour the pickling solution over the jalapenos and screw on the lid. Allow to cool on the counter and then refrigerate. Let pickle for 2 to 4 weeks in the fridge before eating.

CSA Box Week # 3 and Pickled Mustard Greens

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In this week’s CSA box I got spring onions, diakon radishes, mustard greens, collard greens, mesclun salad mix, red fire leaf lettuce, broccoli, and buttercrunch lettuce. The average temperatures in South Carolina this year have been slightly below the norm, so the cool weather vegetables continue to roll in.

One of the things I like best about getting CSA boxes is that they often contain vegetables that I normally do not buy.  I rarely buy mustard greens. I am not sure why, because I actually like them a lot. They are just a vegetable I do not think to use often. I got such a large bunch of mustard greens this week that I will be able to make 2 or 3 different recipes with them.  I have never pickled greens before, but I know it is often done in Asian countries. Pickled greens are often accompaniments to spicy dishes, especially grilled meats. In Thailand, pickled mustard greens are often served with Khao Soi. I love Khao Soi and have two versions on this blog. Find a beef version here and a chicken version here.

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Pickled Mustard Greens

1 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/8 cup white vinegar
mustard greens
serrano chile, stem removed and split lengthwise

In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar, salt, and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir to make sure the sugar and salt are dissolved, then remove from heat. Cool slightly.

Trim stems off of washed mustard greens. Coarsely chop enough greens to fill a 1-pint Mason jar.

Pack the greens and serrano chile into a clean glass 1-pint Mason jar. Pour the hot liquid over the greens, making sure that they are completely submerged. Screw on the lid and refrigerate for at least 3 days before serving.

Pickled Okra

I love okra. I especially love pickled okra. A jar of pickled okra in the grocery store can run about $4, so canning my own is definitely the way to go. One of the best things about living in South Carolina is access to fresh okra. Last Friday, a friend and I went to the State Farmers’ Market. I picked up a basket of fresh, small okra pods for $4.They were perfect for pickling. Canning is an easy and thrifty way to save summer produce for use other times of the year.

Pickled Okra

6 pounds fresh, small okra pods, washed and ends trimmed

3 cups vinegar
3 cups water
1/3 cup salt (not iodized) – I used Kosher salt

6 cloves garlic, peeled
6 tsp. dill seeds
6 dried chile peppers (optional) – I used chile flakes (about 1/2 tsp. per jar)

6 pint size mason jars with bands and new lids
large canning pot

also useful:
jar grabber
lid lifter
jar funnel

Fill a large canning pot with water and bring to a boil. You will need enough water so that the upright jars will be covered by an inch of water or so. Add the clean glass mason jars, bands, and lids to the water and boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Remove the jars and lids from the boiling water and place on paper towels to drain. Let the water continue to boil so it will be ready to process the filled jars.

Bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil in a large pan. Turn off the heat.

Place 1 clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon dill seeds, and 1 dried chile (if using) in each sterile jar and then pack tightly with okra pods. Leave about 1/2 inch of space from the top of the jar. Repeat with all 6 jars. Pour hot pickling solution over the okra in each jar, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch of space from the top of the jar. Insert a clean knife around the inside of the jar to release air bubbles. Add more pickling solution if needed. Wipe the edges of the jars with a clean paper towel and place lids and bands on each jar. Tighten the bands, but do not over-tighten.

Carefully place each filled jar in the boiling water in the canning pot. Place the lid on the pot and boil for 10 minutes. Processing time increases with higher altitude and larger size jars.

After 10 minutes, remove jars from the water and let cool on a towel. Once they start cooling, you will hear popping sounds as the jars seal. It is a glorious sound. Once the jars have cooled completely, check to make sure they are sealed. To check, just press down the center of the lid. If it pops up and down, the jar has not sealed. You can place the jars that do not seal in the refrigerator and can still use the contents. Label and date your jars. Store in a cool place, like the pantry. The pickled okra will be ready to eat in 3 or 4 days. Use the pickles within 1 year of canning.

Pickled Brussel Sprouts

I love pickles.  I made these pickled Brussel sprouts a little over a week ago and could not wait any longer and opened them tonight.  They are wonderful!  You can also use this recipe to pickle green beans (or other veggies like cauliflower, sugar snap peas, celery, carrots, or a mix of veggies).  This recipe makes about 4 pints.

Pickled Brussel Sprouts

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed

2 1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup salt (I used Kosher)

For each sterilized pint jar:
1 clove garlic
1 sprig fresh dill (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1 dried red chile (or 1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes)

Pack each sterilized pint jar with garlic, dill, red pepper (flakes), and as many Brussels sprouts as can fit in the jars.

Bring water, vinegar, and salt to a boil. Pour hot vinegar solution over Brussel sprouts in the jars, leaving a about 1/2 inch space from the top of the jar.  Wipe jar with a clean paper towel.  Place clean canning lids and rings on. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Remove filled jars and let cool.  Lids will pop down. The pickles are ready to store.

Pickled Turnips

Pickled Turnips

I used to buy pickled turnips at a Middle Eastern market and deli in Fredericksburg, VA.  Unfortunately, the owners sold the market to some other people and it is now a Latin market….no more pickled turnips.  Luckily, I found this simple recipe and now make pickled turnips at home.  And honestly, I think these may taste better than the ones from the Middle Eastern market. 

The only changes I made with the recipe was that I used kosher salt instead of pickling salt, I cut the turnips and beet into slices and then into wedges, and i added a dried Thai dragon chile (or two) to each jar along with the turnips and beets.  They turned out fantastic and their color is absolutely beautiful!  The recipe makes about 3 full pint jars.

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My 3 year old LOVES the pickled turnips. He will eat an entire jar by himself if you let him. Pickled turnips are tasty on their own (and part of a mezze platter), but are also good with falafel and Pad Thai.

Pickled Turnips

2 cups water
1/4 cup pickling salt (I used kosher salt)
1 cup white vinegar

2 pounds white turnips
1 beet
3 cloves garlic

Peel turnips. Cut small turnips into sixths; larger turnips can be cut thick strips (about the size of a large French fry). Peel beet and cut into thick strips. Peel garlic cloves and cut each one into quarters. Layer turnips in a large sterilized glass jar, interspersing them with the beet strips and garlic. Bring water, vinegar, and salt to a boil, stirring to make sure all the salt is dissolved. Carefully pour the pickling solution over the turnips. Make sure no large air bubbles remain. Put the lids on the jars. Store pickles in a cool place for at least one week.  Refrigerate them after the first week. If you are uncomfortable leaving the turnips at room temperature for the first week, you can store them in the fridge. The turnips will turn a bright purplish pink. So pretty. Refrigerate after opening.