In a Pickle? Try These Recipes

Love pickles? Fortunately for you, you can now learn to make pickles in the comfort of your own home, using hours you might otherwise use raking leaves, doing laundry or other frustrating and unrewarding activities not resulting in delicious preserved edible product.

If you need tips on preserving, check out our posts Canning 101 and Canning 201, or download our guide How to Can Your Harvest. And then leap right into making some – or all – of our favourite pickle recipes.


2 cups sugar
2 cups white vinegar
2 Tbsp coarse pickling salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp mustard seed

1 large red pepper
1 large green pepper
1 large Spanish onion
5 pickling cucumbers (with peel)

Combine first 6 ingredients in a 4 litre ice cream bucket. Stir. Add red and green pepper (cut into slices with seeds removed). Add onion (cut into slices). Add cucumber (thinly sliced), filling bucket up to the level of the liquid. Let stand about 2 hours then stir. Cover and store in fridge for up to 6 months. Makes about 2 1/2 litres.


Sanitize your jars in a hot bath. While they’re sanitizing, thinly slice radish and other fall veg you would like to add to your pickling mix. We used turnips, carrots, garlic and of course radish; also a selection of hot peppers and chili flakes for heat. You’ll want to use vegetables with a natural crunch.

Next, pack your thinly sliced veggies into your sterilized jars tightly. Separately prepare a 1 to 1 solution of water and vinegar to add to your jar(s). If using chili flakes, add them to the solution. Add solution to jars and seal.

With this simple recipe, there is no boiling involved. Let the mixture cure in the fridge for a day or two, and then eat with tacos, salads or as a side to other dishes. The radishes must be refrigerated, but they’ll last 3 to 4 weeks without worry.

Makes 4-pint jars (500ml) or 2 quart jars (1L)

2 quarts (8 cups) diagonally sliced zucchini or cucumbers (combo of yellow and green is nice)
4 small onions, sliced
1 Tbsp pickling or canning salt
cool water
2 1/2 cups cups cider vinegar
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp celery seeds
1 Tbsp curry powder
2 tsp pickling spice

In a glass or stainless steel bowl, layer zucchini slices with pickling salt. Add cool water to cover, and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Transfer to a colander placed over a sink and drain zucchini. Rinse with cool running water and drain thoroughly.

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, curry powder, pickling spice, mustard seeds, and celery seeds. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes, until spices have infused the liquid. Stir in zucchini.

Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars and lids. Pack zucchini into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar. Ladle hot pickling liquid into jar to cover vegetables, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot pickling liquid. Wipe rim. Centre lid on jar, screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Adapted from The Complete Book of Pickling by Jennifer MacKenzie

1 head cauliflower (about 8 cups chopped)
1/2 cup pickling salt
2 lbs pickling cucumbers (about 6 cups)
2 lbs carrots (about 5 cups)
2 cups chopped onions
2 3/4 packed brown sugar
1/2 cup dry mustard
1 Tbsp celery seeds
1 Tbsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
3 1/4 cups white vinegar
1/4 cornstarch

Day 1:
Chop the veggies: Cauliflower should stay in small 1.5 inch florets, Cucumbers in ½ inch slices, and carrots cut into ½ inch slices. If carrots or cukes are larger than a quarter, cut them in half. Put the vegetables in separate bowls and distribute the salt evenly to each. (Onions can be diced quite small and kept with the carrots.)

Add cold water to each bowl to cover by about an inch. Place plate on top of each to weigh down vegetables. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 12 hours or for up to 24 hours.

Day 2:
In a colander, drain and rinse your vegetables with fresh water. Drain again.

Get out your canner and start boiling water. Sterilize your jars in the boiling water for 10 minutes. New canning lids should be soaked in hot water.

In a large pot – whisk together brown sugar, mustard, celery seeds, turmeric and hot pepper flakes. Gradually whisk in 3 cups of vinegar until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and stir in vegetables and return to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk cornstarch into the remaining vinegar. Stir into vegetable mixture and cook for two minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened and liquid is no longer cloudy. Remove from heat.

Using a slotted spoon, pack vegetables into sterilized hot jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Top up each jar with hot pickling liquid, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rim and place hot lid disc on jar. Screw band down until fingertip-tight.
Place jars in canner and return to a boil. Make sure that the water covers the jars by at least one inch. Process for 15 minutes. Carefully transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let stand for 24 hours before moving to your pantry. Check lids and refrigerate any jars that are not sealed.

Updated from posts originally published in 2010, 2011 and 2013

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