Texas Living

Adventures in Pickling

By Celia Bryan-Brown 6.18.18

Don’t be put off by its old-fashioned image. Pickling has made an epic comeback in kitchens across America. Combining artistry, flavor, and a personal touch, pickles are the perfect way to make the most of ripe, delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Whether you go store-bought or homegrown, with such a wide range of produce available, pickles (and pickling) are guaranteed to become a permanent feature of your pantry in no time.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Waste not, want not! In the heat of a Texan summer, there is nothing more deliciously refreshing than icy slices of watermelon to munch on the porch. But don’t throw away those rinds — this pickled Southern classic is the perfect way to elevate a light meal of cold ham and salad into something really special. Try this recipe.

Gourds

It may be a little early for Halloween pumpkins, but gourds of all shapes and sizes make for a punchy pickle that’ll bring back memories of your grandmother’s kitchen. Vibrant and quintessentially American, these are fantastic with Southern fried chicken and a hearty helping of corn bread. Try this recipe.

Strawberries and Vinegar

We love the sophisticated combination of strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and cracked black pepper. The sweet and sour sun-ripened fruit with this spicy kick is an unbeatable pairing only made more potent in a pickle. These are a classy touch in summer salads, or even an added oomph to dinner-party desserts. Try this recipe.

pickling

Bread-and-Butter Pickles

Legend has it that during the Great Depression, bread-and-butter pickles were eaten sandwiched between bread and butter as a cheap but filling meal. A deliciously simple pickle featuring fresh cucumbers and sliced onions, this is a versatile expression of the classic. Try this recipe.

pickling

Go Nuts

Pickling isn’t restricted to fruit and vegetables. Pickled nuts are a great way to add savory sophistication to meat and cheese platters. Try this recipe. Just exchange the dill for a combination of Christmas spices (cloves, cinnamon, and allspice) and add a half-cup of soft brown sugar to the mix for a uniquely Texan pickle.

Hot Chili Peppers

In our hot climate, it’s easy as pie to grow your own chili peppers in a patch of sunshine. A single plant is guaranteed to leave you with plenty to experiment with. Pickled jalapeños are a Tex-Mex staple — and they’re even better homemade. But don’t be afraid to mix it up: Scotch bonnets, finger chilies, and even whole jalapeños make fantastic, fiery pickles. Give it a try!

Ready to cool off after all that spice? Try these ice cream floats to get you through all your blazing summer gatherings.

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