The great thing about pickled vegetables is your ability to use any variety of fresh veggies you have on hand. While leafy greens won’t work so well (besides cabbage), you can really get creative with what’s fresh, local and, possibly, growing in your own garden. Use this mixed pickled vegetables recipe as a baseline, adding or subtracting veggies to suit your taste.
Pickled Vegetables Recipe
Yields about 5 pints
1 and 1/4 pounds pickling cucumbers 3 to 4 inches in length, sliced ½-inch thick (cut off and discard both ends of the cucumbers)
2 cups fluted carrot slices cut ½ inch thick (use a fluted garnishing cutter)
2 cups celery slices cut diagonally ½ inch thick
2 cups trimmed and peeled pearl onions
20 strips red bell peppers cut ½ inch wide by 3 inches long (about 2 large peppers)
3 cups small cauliflower flowerets (about 1 small head of cauliflower)
16 cups cold, distilled water
1 cup canning salt
2 cups sugar
¼ cup mustard seed
2 tablespoons celery seed
6½ cups white vinegar (5 percent acidity)
THE FIRST DAY: in an 8-quart, stainless steel kettle, place the prepared cucumbers, carrots, celery, onions, peppers, and cauliflower; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, place the distilled water and canning salt; stir until the salt dissolves. Then, pour the salt water over the vegetables in the kettle. Cover the kettle; let stand, in a cool place, 12 to 18 hours.
12 TO 18 HOURS LATER: Drain the vegetables thoroughly; set aside.
In a clean, 8-quart, heavy-bottomed, stainless steel kettle, place the sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, and vinegar; stir to combine. Over medium-high heat, bring the vinegar mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover the kettle. Reduce the heat and boil the vinegar mixture 3 minutes. add the vegetables. Cover the kettle and return the mixture to a simmer.
Simmer the vegetables, covered, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; let stand.
Drain hot, sterilized, widemouthed, pint jars with straight sides, upside down, on a clean tea towel.
Decoratively arrange the vegetables (without liquid) in the jars, leaving ½-inch headspace.
Using a 1-cup measuring cup with a pouring spout, cover the vegetables in the jars with the hot vinegar mixture, maintaining ½-inch headspace.
Using a plastic knife or a narrow, rubber spatula, remove the air bubbles in the jars. Then, check the headspace in each jar and if necessary, add additional hot vinegar mixture to maintain ½-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads.
Place hot, metal lids on the jars and screw the bands firmly.
Process in a boiling-water canner for the time shown in the processing times chart at the end of this recipe.
Remove the jars from the canner and place them on a dry, wooden board that has been covered with a tea towel. Let
the jars stand, undisturbed, 12 hours to cool completely.
Processing times for pint and quart-size jars
Altitude of Canning Location
0 to 1,001 ft above sea level: 15 minutes
1,000 ft 6,000 ft: 20 minutes
6,000 ft and higher: 25 minutes
Recipe courtesy of Blue Ribbon Country Canning Cookbook by Diane Roupe.
Photos by Erin Scott (Egg & Dart Press, 2013).