CAN YOU PICKLE IT: LEFTOVER VEGETABLE PARTS

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pickled vegetable scraps

Have you ever gone through that “pickling” phase where any vegetable that you find in your kitchen leads to your mind telling you to pickle it? Green bean? Pickle it. Celery? Pickle it. Cauliflower? Pickle that too. The experimentation process becomes a real and serious obsession as you embark on a journey to find the best pickled vegetable.

It’s a justified obsession. Pickled foods are delicious and can be enjoyed any time of the year. But what if I told you you’re experimenting with the wrong parts of the vegetables? What if you experimented with the parts you would normally compost? Pickling more obscure parts of a vegetable not only helps with reducing food waste, but can actually be equally, if not, more delicious. We have a few suggestions for your new pickled vegetable adventure.

Vegetable parts you need to pickle.

1. Beet Stems

We don’t see beets with their proud, luscious tops attached very often, but when you do, never let them go to waste. One can easily mistake the stems as chards, and that’s exactly what you should treat them as. And one of the best ways to enjoy these beet tops is by pickling them. If you don’t, then just beet it.

2. Watermelon Rinds

Watermelon rinds are hard to eat. They always go to waste. But that’s because you’re doing it wrong. Watermelon rinds are perfect for pickling. They’re refreshing and go with a lot of dishes. With your barbecue, your charcuterie board, or even in your salad. They’re as refreshing as the fruit itself. Make sure you peel the green skin off then boil it for five minutes before proceeding with your normal pickling procedure.

3. Broccoli Stems

I personally love broccoli stems, but many people seem to only enjoy the florets. If you ever come across broccoli with a long stem attached, don’t let it go to waste. Yes, you guessed it. Pickle it! Cut them into sizes of fries, and enjoy them as you would any other long pickled vegetables. Morning double Caesar, anyone?

What is the best way to pickle vegetables?

Most vegetables can be pickled with the same method—unless they need to be softened by boiling beforehand like watermelon rinds. The general ratio is 1:4 for sugar to vinegar, and 1:4 for salt to sugar. And feel free to add any of your personal favourite spices and herbs to experiment.

What you need:

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon peppercorn

1 tablespoons salt

1 sprig rosemary

2 sage leaves

How to prepare:

1. Add the apple cider vinegar, sugar, peppercorn, and salt to a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to let it simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Place your vegetables in a jar with the herbs and pour the hot brining pickling juice into the jar.

3. Allow the concoction to cool to room temperature before covering and storing in the fridge for a couple hours before serving.

Have you tried any pickled vegetable scraps? Share with us any ideas and tips that we missed out on!

Written by

Daniel is a Content Creator + Strategist at SPUD. He graduated from UBC with a degree in English and International Relations with a focus on environmental topics. A wordsmith by day and a bookman by night, he's a self-proclaimed gastronomic snob, a buck-a-shuck addict, a sub-par skier, and a devoted kingsguard of the Oxford comma. He also frequents the dog park with a schnauzer named Duke. Email: danielh@spud.com | Instagram: @dannnyellow

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