Summer Vegetable Pickles
- SERVINGS: MAKES 2 TO 3 QUARTS
This is a great way to use whatever you have too much of in your garden. The pickles taste best when they're made the same day the vegetables are picked.
- About 6 cups water
- 3 cups white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 15 whole black peppercorns
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 3 medium fennel bulbs—trimmed, halved lengthwise, cored and cut into 1/2 -inch lengthwise wedges
- 3 small zucchini, cut into 5-by-1/2-inch matchsticks
- 1/2 medium cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
- 5 medium red onions, quartered lengthwise
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- In a large saucepan, combine 6 cups of the water with the white wine vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, garlic, sea salt and fennel seeds and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil vigorously for 2 minutes, then add the fennel wedges and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fennel to a large bowl. Add the zucchini to the vinegar mixture and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute, then add to the fennel in the bowl. Repeat the process with the cauliflower, cooking it for about 3 minutes, and then the red onions, cooking them for about 2 minutes.
- Divide the vegetables among 2 or 3 large heatproof jars with tight-fitting lids. Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the cooking liquid and let cool slightly. Divide the cooking liquid among the jars, adding water if necessary to cover the vegetables. Let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve the pickles chilled or at room temperature.