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Pickling vegetables is a favorite means of preserving summer produce

Cool, briny pickles straight from the fridge are one of the simplest pleasures of summer. Quick pickling is also a brilliant solution for preserving a plethora of vegetables from the market or your garden. Quick pickling doesn’t require canning or a bushel of vegetables. Best of all, you can adapt this simple formula for any fresh vegetables; try a mixture of vinegars and spices for a truly custom pickle pleasure.
Pickling is best done with super-fresh vegetables. Popular vegetables for pickling are cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower. In reality, you can pickle any vegetable you will like.
Some recipes from Taste of Home you might wish to try this summer are as follows:
BEST EVER SWEET PICKLES
INGREDIENTS
9 cups sliced pickling cucumbers
1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup canning salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
4 bay leaves
12 garlic cloves, crushed
DIRECTIONS
In a large nonreactive bowl, combine cucumbers, onion and salt. Cover with crushed ice and mix well. Let stand 3 hours. Drain; rinse and drain thoroughly.
In a Dutch oven, combine sugar, water, vinegars, mustard seed, celery seed and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cucumber mixture; return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 4-5 minutes or until heated through.
Carefully ladle hot mixture into 4 hot wide-mouth 1-pint jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Add 3 garlic cloves and 1 bay leaf to each jar. Remove air bubbles and, if necessary, adjust headspace by adding hot pickling liquid. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
GRANDMA’S DILL PICKLES
INGREDIENTS
11 cups water
5 cups white vinegar
1 cup canning salt
12 pounds pickling cucumbers, quartered or halved lengthwise
9 dill sprigs or heads
18 garlic cloves
18 dried hot chilies
DIRECTIONS
In a stockpot, bring water, vinegar and salt to a boil; boil 10 minutes. Pack cucumbers into nine hot quart jars within 1/2 in. of top. Place one dill head, two garlic cloves and two peppers in each jar.
Carefully ladle hot mixture into jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 15 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
FIRE AND ICE PICKLES
INGREDIENTS
2 jars (32 ounces each) dill pickle slices or spears
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, peeled
DIRECTIONS
Drain and discard juice from pickles. In a large bowl, combine pickles, sugar, pepper sauce and pepper flakes; mix well. Cover and let stand 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Spoon pickle mixture into 3 pint-size jars; add a garlic clove to each. Cover and refrigerate 1 week before serving. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 month.
PICKLED GREEN TOMATO RELISH
INGREDIENTS
7 pounds green tomatoes (about 20 medium)
4 large onions
2 large red onions
3 large green peppers
2 large sweet red peppers
4 teaspoons canning salt
5 cups cider vinegar
4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons celery seed
4 teaspoons mustard seed
DIRECTIONS
Cut tomatoes, onions and peppers into wedges. In a food processor, cover and process vegetables in batches until finely chopped. Stir in salt. Divide mixture between two strainers and place each over a bowl. Let stand 3 hours.
Discard liquid from bowls. Place vegetables in a stockpot; stir in vinegar, sugar, celery seed and mustard seed. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or until thickened.
Carefully ladle hot mixture into eight hot pint jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 15 minutes. Remove jars and cool.