With fall on the horizon and summer produce still in abundance, early September is the ideal time for canning and preserving. Warm-weather fruits and vegetables—from okra to cucumbers and peppers to even watermelon—take well to pickling, a process that is high-yield but often low-effort. (If you’re new to pickling, read some of our top tips from a pickling expert.) From sweet to salty to spicy and even bitter, here are 10 summer pickle recipes you should consider.
|Bread and Butter Pickles
Thanks to their complex, sweet-and-sour flavor, classic sliced cucumber pickles elevate even the most modest of sandwiches. Note that you should allow two weeks for the flavor to develop before serving them.
If you’ve never pickled okra before, the key to doing so successfully is to use the freshest okra you can find so your okra pickles turn out crisp. Pickled okra makes for an excellent cocktail garnish, or you can wrap it with prosciutto and serve it as an appetizer.
|Pickled Cauliflower, Carrots and Jalapeño
This take on Mexican spicy pickled vegetables, from San Francisco restaurant Tacolicious, combines jalapeños, carrots, and onions with less-conventional (but equally delicious) cauliflower florets.
Preserved lemons are a popular ingredient in Moroccan cuisine, and involve soaking the fresh citrus in a salt water brine. The result — an intense, bright lemon flavor — makes for an excellent addition to dishes like kale salads and braised chicken.
|“Wasabi” Pickled Carrots
For pickles with immediate gratification, try these ginger- and horseradish-spiked carrots, which take only 30 minutes to make, but will last for up to six weeks. They’d be great with seafood or an array of Asian rice dishes.
Pickle beets in an array of different colors are ideal for topping bloody marys, adding into salads, or eating out of the jar straight as a snack.
Try serving this fennel, which takes only a day to pickle, on a cheese board with fresh, young cheeses.
With just the addition of canning salt, you can transform a humble head of cabbage into a flavorful, economical, nutritious sauerkraut that adds crunch to everything from braised meats to sandwiches.
|Watermelon Rind Pickles
Why throw watermelon rind away when you can preserve it? Try your hand at this conserve, which calls for soaking the rind in a vinegar and sugar mixture with warm spices like cinnamon, clove, and allspice.
|Pickled Roasted Red Peppers with Garlic
Take the flavor of roasted red peppers to the next level by steeping them in a brine with ginger, sugar, and cloves.
Want more? Check out our Guide to Preserving for further inspiration.