We’re entering burger and picnic season right about now, and it’s time to take another look at a common component of both: the pickle. Pickled vegetables add a delightful tang, saltiness, and–if they’re made correctly–a nice crisp, crunch to sandwiches and snacks. But pickling goes far beyond just your average cucumber. Here are 6 surprising items that make for a perfectly delicious pickle.
Refrigerator Pickled Blackberries: These glistening jewels would be incredible as a sauce for duck breast, as part of a cheese platter, spooned onto ricotta-topped crostini, draped over yogurt, or plopped into cocktails.
Spicy Pickled Green Beans: Pleasantly sharp, these are a choice garnish for a cocktail buffet. If you’re making the recipe for a gift, the beans look gorgeous in tall glass jars.
Spiced Pickled Beets: Any kind of beets will work; we used golden ones for their lovely color. Although we love the softer flavor of white balsamic vinegar, you can also make this using 2 1/2 cups water mixed with 2 1/2 cups cider vinegar.
Quick Pickled Peaches: These gorgeously spiced, tangy-sweet peaches make a fantastic addition to a summer relish tray, or serve them on pound cake or alongside grilled pork or chicken. Look for peaches that are still a little firm; they will soften some in the warm liquid. If you start with very ripe peaches, they may oversoften by the time they are finished pickling.
Pickled Tomatoes: Toast the spice seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they become fragrant and start to release their flavorful oils.
Pickled Baby Pattypan Squash: Find these mini summer veggies in markets. The toy-top shape makes them great for pickling whole. The spicy brine pairs perfectly with the mild squash flavor.