Fresh Pickles

Curried Green Tomatoes. Get the recipe in The Complete Guide to Pickling by Julie Laing.
Curried Green Tomatoes. Photograph by Andrew Purcell.

When most Americans think of pickles, they think of what I’ve gathered into the Fresh Pickle chapter in my new cookbook, The Complete Guide to Pickling: vegetables pickled in vinegar and either stored in the refrigerator or canned in a boiling water bath. The recipe list for that chapter includes some pickles that are likely old favorites (Kosher-Style Dill Pickles and Water Bath-Processed Beets) but also some fun, possibly new-to-you flavors (Curried Green Tomatoes and Szechuan-Spiced Cucumber Rounds).

But some of my new favorite fresh pickles fall in a later chapter of the book: Sweet and Fruity Pickles. I was surprised by how much I loved creating the pickle recipes in this chapter, because I generally turn up my nose at pickles labeled “sweet.” But that term is usually applied to pickled vegetables, like cucumbers and beets, that my brain doesn’t register as needing to be sweet. Fruit is a different story: whether I’m adding sugar or relying on the natural sugars within a fruit, my taste buds find that sweet and fruity pickles balance beautifully with the tang of vinegar or salt brine.
Read more about fresh pickles and learn to make Fresh Pears with Lemon

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.
Read more about quick pickles and learn to make Russian-Inspired Pickled Mushrooms

The Complete Guide to Pickling

I’m excited to officially announce that my first cookbook is coming out. Read more about The Complete Guide to Pickling at TwiceasTasty.com.
After a lot of hard work for the past several months, I’m excited to officially announce that my first cookbook is coming out: The Complete Guide to Pickling. It’s packed with essential information and 125 flavorful recipes, including homegrown classics and international flavors. You’ll find straightforward and scrumptious recipes for quick, fresh, and fermented pickles, as well as sweet and fruity pickles, hot sauces, relishes, salsas, krauts, chutneys, and more.

This month’s posts will focus on the book, including sneak peaks at recipes, bonus info about the project, and a new digital recipe collection that uses the pickles.
Read more about my new cookbook

Watermelon Treats

Melons’ natural sweetness and juiciness make them ideal for refreshing desserts. Get watermelon recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
It looks like today could be the last 80°F day of the season in my area, so it’s the best time to enjoy a refreshing, cold, fruity dessert. Watermelon are still available in the local markets, and homegrown ones are still ripening on the vine. They won’t last much longer in the shops or the greenhouse.

Melons may not be the first fruits you think of when you consider a dessert; apples, strawberries, raspberries, and huckleberries are all more likely candidates. But melons have the advantage of pairing their natural sweetness with a satisfyingly slurpy moisture, making them ideal for refreshing desserts. Throw in some fresh herbs for bright, contrasting notes, and you’ll successfully capture the feel of summer in a bowl or glass. Better yet, your freezer and refrigerator will let you hold onto that feeling long after temperatures have dropped.
Learn to make Watermelon–Mint Sorbet and Watermelon–Basil Shrub