Thanks to the great canning workshop that Victoria from Windflower Farm led last fall, I’ve been trying to do more canning this season. Two things I’ve learned:
1. With a little inexpensive equipment, a good recipe book, and some time, water bath canning is not that hard to do safely.
2. Even if you don’t want to go through the whole canning process, you can still make pickles!
Here are two things I pickled today.
The first is a half pint of Pickled Radishes, using a recipe from Well-Preserved. This is a refrigerator pickle, meaning it isn’t shelf-stable, but it will keep in your fridge for a few weeks. Basically, you slice up radishes, boil some vinegar with sugar and salt, put it in a jar, and stick it in your fridge. Easy! A note: to sterilize your jar, put it in a pot of water, bring to a boil, and boil it for 10 minutes.
The second is Pickled Garlic Scapes, which I was inspired to make because Ortine on Washington between Pacific and Dean was using them to garnish their Bloody Marys. Here’s the recipe I used, combining a couple recipes from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff. Messing with canning recipes is touchy, since you need to make sure the mixture is acidic enough to avoid botulism, but the things I changed in the recipe don’t affect acidity, so it should only make a difference in taste. Don’t want to do the whole canning thing? You can do basically the same as with the radishes: sterilize your jar, make the pickling liquid, stick it in the fridge, and eat it within a couple weeks. I’m not going to include step-by-step water bath canning instructions; get yourself a book and make sure you know what you’re doing before you try it.
Pickled Garlic Scapes, adapted from Liana Krissoff and Ortine
Makes 2 pint jars
1 1/4 lbs. garlic scapes
1 c. cider vinegar (5% acidity)
1 c. white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 1/2 t. pure kosher salt
1 1/2 t. sugar
2 t. pickling spice
1. Wash your scapes, then cut them into 4 inch sections so they’ll fit in your jars. I could usually get three sections from each scape. Don’t include the bulb part.
2. In a nonreactive pot, combine your vinegars, 1 c. water, salt, and sugar and bring just to a boil.
3. Pack your hot jars (boil them while you prep) with the scapes, working quickly. Split your pickling spice between the two jars, then ladle in the pickling liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Use a chopstick or other tool to remove air bubbles, wipe the rim with a wet paper towel, then place a lid and a ring on the jar until finger tight. If you’re water bath canning, process for 15 minutes. If you’re making refrigerator pickles, let the jar cool down, then stick it in the fridge and let it cure for about a week.