Pucker Up to Your Work Week: 5 Pickled Snacks to Get You Through

Photo Cred: Kristin Stangl

If the idea of heading into yet another five day work week has you bummed, then these tart and bold quick-pickle recipes are here to help. Whether vegetable or fruit, these brined beauties brighten up your desk snacking game. Don’t stress if you’ve never pickled a thing before (other than your own liver with too much mezcal last weekend). If you can cut up vegetables or fruit and boil vinegar, you’re well on your way to pickled snack heaven. Your minimal efforts will yield great rewards since these pickles last anywhere from a full week up to months in the fridge. You and your pickles are about to become the envy of your office mates. Are you ready?


mondayfont

photo cred @days_of_food

photo cred Kristin Stangl

Yield: One Pint Jar

These spicy garlic carrots will wake up your mouth after just one bite. They do wonders added to a salad or slid inside a deli sandwich, though our favorite way to eat them is straight from the jar.

What You’ll Need

3 medium carrots, peeled + cut into ½ inch sticks or bias-cut discs

1 ½ cups white vinegar

½ cup water

1 tbs salt (kosher or table salt will work)

1 to 2 cloves of garlic, smashed (the amount of garlic is your call)

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp dill seed (not fresh dill– dill seed is available in the spice isle)

1 glass pint jar, such as a Ball jar, with tight fitting lid

1 medium pot


What You’ll Do 

In your medium pot, bring to a boil the vinegar, water, salt, clove(s) of garlic, red pepper flakes, and dill seed. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cover. Allow the brine mixture to simmer, covered, for 5 minutes until the salt dissolves and the seasonings have infused the brine.

To your glass jar, pack in as much of the cut up carrots as you can– we want a tight fit while still being able to secure the lid on top.

Turn your attention back to the pot of boiling brine. Fish out the smashed garlic cloves and pop them in the jar with the carrots. Pour the hot brine + spices over the carrots to cover. If there is excess brine, be sure to scoop up all spices from the pot into your jar. Cover the jar with its lid.

Allow the jar to cool on the counter until it comes to room temperature. Then place the jar in the fridge. Carrots will be ready as soon as 24 hours from when they are packed.  However, they will intensify in flavor as you let them sit in the fridge and the carrots will soften over time. These lovelies can be kept for up to 2 months refrigerated.


tuesday

photo cred @days_of_food

photo cred Kristin Stangl

 

Yield: 1 quart jar

Pina Colada can’t have all the fun with pineapple. Here the fruit is warmed with spices and caramel notes from the brown sugar — like putting a cozy fall sweater on a fruit considered a summertime staple. These are a straight from the jar kind of snack.

What You’ll Need

1 pineapple, cut into half-inch thick sticks

½ cup white vinegar

½ water

½ cup orange juice

1 cup brown sugar

1 whole star anise

4 whole cloves

1/2 tsp whole allspice

pinch of salt

1 glass quart jar (or two pint jars) with tight fitting lid

1 medium pot


What You’ll Do

In your medium pot, bring to a boil the vinegar, water, orange juice, brown sugar, salt, and spices. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cover. Allow the sugar brine mixture to simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Once the sugar brine has simmered, add the pineapple sticks to the pot, cover, and simmer gently until the pineapple has heated through, about 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, pack the pineapple into your glass jar (tilting the jar over the pot and spooning in the slices is the easiest way). Sugar retains heat really efficiently, so resist the urge to rearrange the pineapple in the jar with your fingers (because, ouch!), opting instead for a fork to help arrange the fruit in the jar as need. Pour the sugar brine + spices over the fruit to cover. Cover the jar with the lid.

Allow the jar to cool on the counter until it comes to room temperature. Then place the jar in the fridge. Pineapple will be ready as soon as 24 hours from when it’s packed.  The pickled fruit will last up to 2 weeks refrigerated.


wednesday

photo cred @days_of_food

photo cred Kristin Stangl

Yield: 1 Pint Jar

Vibrant with turmeric, these turnip slices do big favors to that basic turkey or hummus sandwich and are excellent buddies to a hunk of sharp cheddar cheese.

What You’ll Need

2 medium turnips, peeled + sliced into thin discs

1 ½ cups white vinegar

½ cup water

1 tbs salt (kosher or table salt is fine)

1 tsp cumin seed

2 tsp turmeric

1 glass pint jar with a tight fitting lid

1 medium pot


What You’ll Do

In your medium pot, bring to a boil the vinegar, water, salt, and the spices. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cover. Allow the brine mixture to simmer, covered, for 5 minutes until the salt dissolves. This  also gives a chance for the spices to infuse the brine.

In your glass jar, layer the sliced turnips in tightly– we want a tight fit while still being able to secure the lid on top– so leave about ½ inch of space at the top of the jar.

Pour the hot brine over the turnips to cover. Screw the lid onto the jar and allow the jar to cool on the counter until it comes to room temperature. Then place the jar in the fridge.

Allow the turnips to chill in the refrigerator overnight, and keep refrigerated.  Eat these guys within one week.


thursday

photo cred @days_of_food

photo cred Kristin Stangl

Yield: One Pint Jar

With their mulled-wine seasonings, these plums make snack-time feel festive. Spoon the fruit and syrup over plain yogurt with walnuts or almonds (or, if you’re having a real bad day at the office, over ice cream). And take solace in the fact that it’s almost Friday…

What You’ll Need

3 firm plums, pitted and quartered

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup vinegar

1 tbs water

3 cardamom pods, smashed with a knife to expose the little orbs inside

1 cinnamon stick

zest of 1 orange (use a vegetable peeler to get large swaths)

pinch of salt

1 glass pint jar with a tight fitting lid

1 medium pot


What You’ll Do

In your medium pot, bring to a boil the vinegar, water, brown sugar, salt, and spices. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cover. Allow the sugar brine mixture to simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Once the sugar brine has simmered, add the plums to the pot, cover, and simmer gently until the plums have heated through, about 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, pack the plums into your glass jar. It’s ok to push down a bit on the fruit, you want to get all 3 plums in there. Gather all the orange zest and spices and include in the jar, then pour the sugar brine over the fruit to cover. Cover the jar with its lid.

Allow the jar to cool on the counter until it comes to room temperature. Then place the jar in the fridge. Plums will be ready as soon as 24 hours from when they are packed.  The pickle fruit will last up to 2 weeks refrigerated.

Bonus Alert! The sugar brine will last a month refrigerated, and makes a solid addition to a bourbon or rye on the rocks (just add a jigger of the brine to the whisky of your choice and garnish with a piece of the orange zest) for a fall drink that takes inspiration from the Old Fashioned.


friday

photo cred @days_of_food

photo cred Kristin Stangl

Yield: One Quart Jar

Do yourself a solid and arrange these pickled green beans over leaf lettuce along with oil packed tuna and briny olives for a quick take on the classic salad nicoise. Or dip them in hummus if you can’t be bothered composing salads.  

What You’ll Need

¾  pound green beans, ends trimmed so they are jar-sized or shorter in height

1 ¾ cup white vinegar

1 ¼ cup water

1 tbsp salt (kosher or table salt is fine)

1 clove garlic, smashed

2 tbsp za’atar 

1 glass quart jar (or two pint jars) with tight fitting lid

1 medium pot


What You’ll Do

In your medium pot, bring to a boil the vinegar, water, salt,garlic, and za’atar. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cover. Allow the brine mixture to simmer, covered, for 5 minutes until the salt dissolves and the seasoning has infused the brine.

As you wait for the brine, pack as much of the cut up green beans into the jar as you can, standing them straight up.

Once the brine is done, fish out the smashed garlic clove from the boiling brine and pop it in the jar with the beans.. Pour the hot brine over the beans to cover. Immediately screw the lid onto the jar and set on counter until it reaches room temperature. Then move the jar to your refrigerator and allow the beans at least 24 hours to get acquainted with the brine before you dive in.  These beans will last up to 1 month refrigerated, and will enhance in flavor over time.


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Featured Image by Kristin Stangl

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