Pickling: Part Two

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After I posted my September 14 entry, Pickling: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, artist Carmelle Safdie contacted me to say that the good definitely outweighs the bad and the ugly.

She was kind enough to share her flavorful recipes for Indian pickled radishes, pickled carrot sticks, salt-brined dill green beans, and pickled eggplant slices—which she says are great served on crackers or toast—as well as share a few photographs.

After reading her recipes, it became immediately clear that these pickled gems would be very different than the Kool-Aid pickle I encountered a while back. And yes, by different I mean much, much better and edible. I can’t wait to try them. Thanks, Carmelle!

Pickled Eggplant Slices
2 lbs. eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds

Salt for sprinkling on the eggplant
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
Dried oregano, to taste
4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
Olive oil sufficient to cover the eggplant

Place the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle each layer with salt. Let stand for 2 to 3 hours, shaking every 30 minutes, to let the bitter juices drain.

Bring the vinegar and water to a boil in a large pot. Poach the eggplant slices for 3 minutes. Drain.

Stack the eggplant slices in a large glass jar, sprinkling the oregano and crushed garlic between each layer. Pour enough olive oil into the jar to cover the slices.

Put a lid on the jar and let stand for 1 week. 

Indian Pickled Radishes

4 tsp. black mustard seeds
4 oz. mustard oil
1 lb. small red or pink radishes, washed and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cayenne pepper

  •  Grind the mustard seeds coarsely in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the oil until extremely hot and then let cool to room temperature—this will sweeten the flavor of the oil.
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and then transfer into glass jar. Cover the jar and place in the sun, shaking 2 to 4 times daily for 4 to 8 days. The radishes are done when sour.
  • Store in the refrigerator or a cool area.

Pickled Carrot Sticks
3 lbs. carrots, cut into sticks
4 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
6 whole allspice
1 Tbsp. salt
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
Cool water sufficient to fill the jar

  • Pack the carrot sticks into a large glass jar with the garlic, bay leaves, and allspice.
  • Dissolve the salt in the vinegar, and then pour into the jar. Fill the remaining space in the jar with cool water.
  • Place a lid on the jar, but do not screw the lid on tightly, and let stand for 10 to 14 days, or until the carrots sink to the bottom of the jar.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

Salt-Brined Dill Green Beans
4 lbs. fresh green beans
1 gallon water
1/2 cup salt
1 bunch fresh dill
6 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
2 bay leaves

  • Wash the green beans well and let dry.
  • Place the water in a large sterilized pickling crock or a very large glass jar and add the salt, stirring to dissolve. Add the dill, garlic, mustard seeds, and bay leaves and place the green beans on top. Put a weight—such as a plate weighed down by a small jar of water—on top of the beans to submerge them in the brine. Cover.
  • Check every day and remove any scum that develops on the surface of the brine.
  • After about 10 days, the beans should be ready. They will be olive green in color and sour. If the beans develop mold or get mushy, discard them.
  • To stop the fermentation process and store the beans, sterilize 4 quart-sized or 8 pint-sized jars and pack the beans into them. Boil the strained brine for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and then pour into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top. Seal using a boiling water bath or a steam canner and store in the refrigerator or pantry.
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