9 essential tools to start marinating vegetables quickly

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This is the time of year when sad carrots and wrinkled green beans sit limply on grocery store shelves. While roasting is one method to make them shine, I’m always on the lookout for creative ways to brighten up the veg in my life. So when winter comes, I dig into my pantry to take out glass jars and whole peppercorns for a quick pickling.

Quick Pickling is the antidote to lack of inspiration after looking at the same hot onions, radishes, and cucumbers on your weekly errands. Also called refrigerator pickles, this technique breathes new life into vegetables with minimal effort and perhaps, most importantly, fewer items to wash. While canning is designed for long-term, stable storage, Quick Pickling creates side dishes and toppings that are ready in as little as 30 minutes and need to be continuously refrigerated and eaten within the week.

Now let’s talk about the steps – rinse and chop the veg, create the brine, and combine everything in a lidded jar – as well as how to add bold flavors to sad winter veggies.

You can quickly marinate a multitude of vegetables, including carrots, radishes, jalapeño peppers, beets, cucumbers, green beans, or cauliflower. Quickly rinse your chosen vegetables and dry them with a towel before cutting off the tips or peeling the skin. This is also a good time to quickly wash out the lidded jar you plan to use. Here’s where a bottle brush, like this Oxo Good Grips Bottle Brush at $ 7, will be useful for cleaning the inside of large glass containers.

Then prepare your vegetables to chop them. Cut off the ends and roots of green beans or radishes, or remove the skin from carrots, parsnips and beets. To grab kitchen shears or a peeler with a solid grip like the Swiss Original Kuhn Rikon Peeler to prevent your fingers from slipping.

When it comes to chopping or slicing, think about how you’ll use your pickled veggies. Thin slices, like carrot, radish, or jalapeño discs, are perfect as a sandwich garnish or in a bowl with rice and eggs, while ginger or daikon matches add a bit of texture to stir-fried dishes. or noodles. Thicker sticks, usually carrots or cucumbers, can add crunch to a tuna sandwich or a little variety to your plate of deli meats. A 8 inch Misen chef’s knife is comfortable if you do a lot of chopping and can handle all of your vegetable prep for quick marinating.

Brine, salt water or vinegar is how you turn raw vegetables into pickles. The longer your vegetables stay in a brine, the deeper the flavor you develop. Keep in mind that sugar and vinegar are like cool kids in school and will have an outside influence on your veggies. Find ways to balance those strong notes by taming vinegar with water and sugar with salt or heat.

Quick stripping is often an exercise in what you have on hand. Start by heating and mixing 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar (apple cider or white vinegar are good options), 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar. . Then adjust this basic combination with what spices you have on hand and what you prefer. You can also make a quick brine without turning on the stove, but the heat will melt the ingredients faster without adding a lot of time to the process.

Pro tip: Not sure how much brine you need? Fill the container you are going to use with water. Pour this water into a Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup and now you know.

You will want to wrap the vegetables in a 16 oz wide mouth mason jar as tightly as possible, as this prevents them from floating upwards. A glass container with an airtight seal also works well. If you have enough containers, consider putting only one type of vegetable in each jar, as they can marinate at different speeds. Chopped onions don’t need to be as long as large carrot sticks. Vegetables like beets also have a leech color, which can be fun as long as you expect everything to turn pink. Once the vegetables are in the jar, place a Foldable Kitchen Canning Funnel on it to avoid splashing and have more control over the amount of liquid you add.

Once the lid is securely closed, take a piece of painter’s tape and one permanent marker. You can also use duct tape and a piece of paper. Write the date down and tie it at the top, so you don’t have to remember exactly the day you prepared the pickles when you reach them later in the week.

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