I love pickles. Every time I bite into a pickle my mouth puckers and I know it's going to be sour and delicious. We used to go to this restaurant, the Capitol Club, and they served hummus with a variety of pickles that included beans and cauliflower. I've not seen this on the menu for a long time, but it was one of my favorite things to eat. The pickles were a little spicy and the hummus was good. It can be hard to find good commercial pickles, as I think they tend to over cook the vegetables, or just don't brine them correctly. We're going away for about a week, so I won't be posting. I also looked at my garden and picked a head of broccoli that I knew wouldn't make it until we got back. I found .. TA DA! Four beans ready to pick and thought that the fractal broccoli that I had been growing would make pretty pickles.
I have always like bread and butter pickles. They are one of my favorites, apart from pickled beets. I poked around in a canning book my mother had given me, that I'm not really a huge fan of. They make things with lots of sugar, jam that has more sugar than fruit, all of the pickles are equal parts vinegar and sugar, sugar, sugar. That goes right to my hips! Besides, I can handle my vinegar, can you?
Anyhow I've made up my own pickle called the Bread and Broccoli Pickle. It's like a bread and butter pickle, but really not at all. I encourage you to break free from traditional pickles, as I have. Later today I will be pickling the four beets I have and I will be using balsamic vinegar in them. They make a wonderful beet salad later in life if you do that.
1 head of fractal broccoli florets
1 small sliced onion
1 tsp. mustard seed
4-6 allspice berries
6 black peppercorns
a dash of ginger
4 green beans
2 C. raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. Splenda
1 tsp. salt
Wash everything. Get your jars ready and heat them in the oven at 225. Put your lids and rings in a hot water bath and get a hot water bath ready for your jars. In a large sauce pan cook the sugar, vinegar, salt and spices together until the sugar is dissolved. Add the onion and broccoli and cook until the broccoli is bright green. Turn off the heat and add the onions. Pull one jar out at a time, with a slotted spoon scoop the vegetables into the jars and then pour over the hot liquid. Wipe the rims and put on the lids and rings. Water bath for about 10 min.