Quick Pickles

Pickling sweet peppers. Get the recipes in The Complete Guide to Pickling by Julie Laing.
Preparing quick pickles from bell peppers. Photograph by Andrew Purcell.

My forthcoming cookbook, The Complete Guide to Pickling, opens its recipe chapters with quick pickles. If you think you don’t have time to pickle, polished off your favorite jar, or simply ran out of patience, this chapter is for you. Quick pickles are just like they sound: snappy, zippy, and ready to eat in anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours. They typically need just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes of prep. I make them in small, speedy batches.

A few tricks made it easy for me to create 25 recipes for the Quick Pickle chapter. Some use delicate vegetables, like avocados. Others thinly slice, smash, or grate their main ingredients, like Szechuan-inspired Smashed Cucumbers, Roasted Beet Pickles, and Ginger-Spiked Carrot and Apple Pickle. Some, like the Bell Pepper Slices in the photo, could be stored but lose their brightness over time. You’ll find other quick pickles scattered throughout The Complete Guide to Pickling: Sambal Oelek and Harissa are chile pastes that can be used as soon as they are made, several fresh salsa recipes are prep and eat, and many pickles based on fragile fruit, such as blackberries, peaches, and strawberries, are best the day they’re made.

Pickling wild mushrooms. Get the recipes in The Complete Guide to Pickling by Julie Laing.
Mushrooms for pickling. Photograph by Julie Laing.

From the Book

I first tasted pickled mushrooms when I was living in Russia, and I found them so delicious that I carried a jar in my luggage as I rode the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok—one that later broke and infused all of my clothes with pickle brine. I’ve since learned not only how to pack more wisely but also how to make pickled mushrooms at home. They’re ideal vegetables for quick pickles: when canned, they tend to be overcooked and rubbery, and storing them in oil can make them feel slimy. After some experimentation, I decided that my favorite way to pickle mushrooms is to drop them raw into an acidic brine—essentially the same technique used to “cook” fish in a ceviche.

This technique works well with many mushrooms, even the common cremini. While testing the recipe, I experimented with many varieties from a local grower, Valleygirl Mushrooms. Chestnut bolete, king trumpet oyster, and blue oyster mushrooms were all so tasty in brine that I wrote two pickled mushroom recipes for my new book: one in white wine and one in a Russian-inspired brine.

Ready to give pickled mushrooms a try? Full details are in the recipe, taken straight from The Complete Guide to Pickling, but here are the basics:
You need just 2 main ingredients plus some kitchen staples.
1. Mix the brine.
2. Pour it over the mushrooms and let sit.
3. Strain and enjoy.
Quick pickles are just like they sound: snappy and zippy. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.

Tips & Tricks
  • I created several spice blends that you can prepare in a larger batch and then measure out for recipes throughout the book. These whole spices create 1 teaspoon of Sweet-Savory Spice blend: 2 whole cloves, 3 black peppercorns, pinch of grated nutmeg, 2 allspice berries, 2 juniper berries, and a 3/4-inch piece of cinnamon stick. In a pinch, just use twice the number of peppercorns and cloves.
    • InstagramMake it, share it. Tag your photos: @twiceastastyblog and #twiceastastyblog

      The Pickled Picnic by Julie Laing.
      Crispy Brine-Glazed Tofu. Photograph by Brenda Ahearn.

      Twice as Tasty

      The Complete Guide to Pickling by Julie Laing. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.When I told people I was writing The Complete Guide to Pickling, one of their first questions was “How do you use all of those pickles?” The answer for most quick pickles is easy: You simply eat them. Pickled mushrooms are delicious popped right into your mouth and pair well on an antipasto tray with Ripe Cherry Tomato Pickles in summer and Salt-and-Vinegar Winter Squash in colder months. For a fuller Russian experience, snack on them while you’re enjoying chilled vodka.

      Pickled mushrooms also work well into meals, and I suggest them as a base option for recipes in my new digital recipe collection: The Pickled Picnic: A Companion Collection to The Complete Guide to Pickling (available soon here on Twice as Tasty). I layer sliced pickled mushrooms on Pickle-Topped Pizza, and their brine is delicious for Crispy Brine-Glazed Tofu. Here on the blog, pickled mushrooms can be tossed into Wilted Arugula Pasta, stirred into Mushroom–Sweet Potato Salad, or slid into Buckwheat Porridge with Mushrooms and Eggs.

      Get the book! Preorder your copy of The Complete Guide to Pickling today. Stay tuned for how to get your copy of The Pickled Picnic.

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