Quick Pickled Vegetables

Here is an easy way to pickle vegetables overnight. The recipe is from Fannie Farmer. I was asked to make it for a former client, Peggy Boulter from her cookbook. Thanks for showing it to me, Peggy. I’ve being making it ever since those days when I was your personal chef.

I wasn’t just Peggy’s cook, though I liked going to that house a lot. I ran an in-home cooking service for five years and had four or five clients that I cooked for from Monday to Friday. It was before the term ‘personal chef’ had been coined for this kind of work. I would have still called myself an in-home cook. Not nearly so glamorous a title as personal chef, but if I were an honest-to-god chef who had trained and taken that legendary abuse, it would piss me off that cooks thought it was okay to upgrade themselves. What’s wrong with being a cook anyway? Fannie Farmer was one and knew plenty, as you can see.


1 c. vinegar
½ c. sugar
Simmer 5 min. Cool. Pour over sliced veg in a glass jar. Ready the next day.
Will pickle 3-4 beets or the equivalent.

Things I’ve learned by messing with the basic concept:

  • Distilled white vinegar gives the clearest pickling brine.
  • Brine can be used 2 or 3 times. After that it becomes diluted so discard. Go ahead and repurpose beet brine, as you can see from the picture of this kohlrabi, it makes things pretty.
  • Blanched or cooked veg that pickle well: carrots sticks; beets & beet stems (but not together); whole green beans.
  • Uncooked veg that pickle well: kohlrabi sticks; turnip slices; daikon radish sticks; cucumber chunks; jalapeño or other whole fresh chiles.
  • Different vinegars are different strengths so adjust sugar. I’ve tried apple cider, red and white wine but plain white is the best, though the strongest.
  • Whole spices that change the pickling flavour: caraway, cinnamon sticks, juniper berries, allspice, cloves, cumin seed, whole fresh or dried chile pepper (your choice).