Whenever you want to add a splash of color and bold flavor to the dinner spread, or if you’re waiting to unveil a pièce de résistance and want to appease the hungry crowd while you prepare the final touches of your feast, look no further than this simple quick pickle recipe.
The idea behind quick pickling is that you can enjoy fresh produce in the raw, but in a way that tastes great and is gentle on your gut. Raw quick pickles also stimulates your appetite splendidly, which is why they makes a good opener. Quick pickling, especially root vegetables, makes them much easier to digest, and offers an tantalizing alternative to crudités.
Quick pickling with probiotic vinegars and prebiotic ingredients like ginger actually jump starts the breaking down of complex starches found in many root vegetables, while allowing you to get all the benefit of eating them uncooked.
Ok, so enough about the why, let’s get to the how.
All the root vegetables at your local farmer’s market that call you by your name. I mix it up. I like to use a variety of radishes, carrots, and beets, although there is no limit to what you can use. In the picture above I am using watermelon radish and candy cane radish (aren’t they beautiful?). You can quick pickle cauliflower, cabbage, celery, any leafy green, any root of an edible leafy green, etc. Most vegetables are good to consume in the raw. Notable exceptions are all potatoes (potatoes belong to the nightshade family and are toxic when raw) and sweet potatoes, which are not a potato at all, but rather a morning glory varietal, and are disgusting when raw and will probably make you feel gross.
Using a mandoline (or a sharp knife if your knife skills are on point), take your washed carrots, radishes, and beets and slice them into thin slivers. You can challenge yourself here. Try getting them as thin as possible without falling apart. I like to get them to about 1 millimeter (.04″) thin.
Get out a mason jar for each variety of vegetable you intend to pickle. In each mason jar, combine a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp. of sea salt, and 1/2 tsp. of a single spice. Change the spice for each variety of vegetable. I’ll let you choose, but here are some suggestions:
Carrots and cardamom
Red beets and cumin
Golden beets and raw ginger
Cauliflower and raw garlic
Celery and mace
Purple onions and black pepper
Kale and togarashi
Cipollinis and honey
Add the vegetables to the mason jar. Pack them in tightly, and top off with water. Seal, shake, and let them sit for 1-2 hours. When you are ready to set the dinner table, plate each vegetable separately and enjoy the beautiful colors and flavors of the natural world.