Pickled Pink

There’s no need to tend a garden overflowing with produce to enjoy a tasty batch of refrigerator pickles.

Written by:Amanda Lecky
Photographed by:Steve Henke
Pickled pink onions on Carrick Matte

Cambria design shown: Carrick™ in matte finish.

Inventive takes on pickled fruits and vegetables seem to be everywhere these days. But you may have thought that unless you had a huge garden, and equally large kitchen, you were out of luck when it came to home pickling. Good news: Refrigerator pickles are ideal to make in small spaces and small batches. A trip to the market and forage in your spice cabinet will yield enough for a few jars of fresh, flavorful combinations. The pickling process is quick and easy, almost impossible to get wrong, and there’s no time-consuming canning required. Just pop them in the fridge when complete, and enjoy!

Pickled Onions


Makes 6 8-ounce jars

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 25 peppercorns
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 8-ounce canning jars

Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat on high until the mixture comes to a boil, then add the onion slices. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 seconds. Turn off heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly. Pour onions, spices, and liquid into the jars and cool completely before putting the lids on. For best flavor, wait at least 24 hours to eat. Keep refrigerated for up to three weeks.

Orange beets.
Pickled onions on Ella

Cambria design shown: Ella™

Pickled Veggies

  1. Pick & slice the veggies: the easiest way is to use vegetables that you can eat raw. I used one red onion (which gives it that gorgeous color) and one cucumber. If you’re using vegetables that you would usually eat cooked, like beets or cauliflower, cook them first until tender.
  2. Pick your spices: really, the possibilities are endless—try using spices like mustard seeds, cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, red pepper flakes, or juniper berries. I used bay leaves and peppercorns.
  3. Prepare the pickling liquid: in a pot, combine 2 cups white vinegar, ⅓ cup sugar, a pinch of salt, and the spices (I used two bay leaves and about 25 peppercorns). Heat on high until the mixture comes to a boil, then add the veggies. Lower heat and simmer for 30 seconds. Turn heat off.
  4. Pour into the jars: using the amounts above will fill six 8-ounce canning jars. Pour the veggies and liquid into the jars and let cool before putting the lids back on. Keep refrigerated.
  5. Play the waiting game: surprisingly, the veggies start to taste deliciously tart almost immediately after cooking, but it’s better to wait at least 24 hours before eating to get a deeper flavor.
  6. Eat & enjoy: yes, okay, I admit it: I eat these straight out of the jar. But they’re also amazing on sandwiches, served with cheese and crackers, and in salads. Pickled vegetables made this way will last for at least a couple weeks in the fridge. If you want to store them for a longer time, unrefrigerated, you’ll need to seal the jars.

Get creative with your veggie combos. Colorful varieties like watermelon radishes, golden beets, and rainbow carrots look especially pretty displayed in glass jars.

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