I’m a sucker for pickles. Always have been. I’ll try just about any food that’s been pickled. Of course there are the standard options: pickled cucumbers, daikon radishes, and carrots, but you can pickle just about anything. Pickled eggs, pickled fish, pickled beef… heck, even pickled fruit. So when John sent me a message from Half Price Books the other day and asked me if I wanted a book called Quick Pickles for half price, I immediately responded with “YES!”
Recently, in an effort to drop a few pounds quickly before triathlon racing season begins (4 weeks away!), I decided to eliminate dairy and grains from my diet for a couple of weeks (Monday through Friday). This way of eating forces me to eat a lot more vegetables, which is great for my efforts to drop a few pounds. Kale chips and roasted Brussels sprouts, while both delicious, get a little old (and expensive), so I’m always looking for new and interesting recipes to use some of the cheaper vegetables like root vegetables and cabbage.
This recipe took about 10 minutes of active work (and 4 hours of rest) and it’s lasted in the fridge for a week. It’s sweet, a little spicy, and very fresh. We’ll make this regularly throughout the spring and summer.
- 1 medium head Chinese cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (about 1.5 lbs)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
- 3 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp minced chili (fresh) or 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 3 Tbsp minced lemongrass or 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tsp cracked white pepper
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- In a large non-metal bowl, mix the cabbage, carrots, and salt and let sit for 4 hours at room temperature.
- Rinse and drain the carrots and cabbage mixture.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients (the vinegar through the ginger) and pour over the cabbage and carrot mixture.
- Store the pickles in the fridge and wait at least 2-3 days before enjoying to let the flavor develop. The pickles will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
Notes: We used our red pepper and chili ketchup for this recipe. If you’re using store-bought ketchup, make sure and check the ingredients. Many varieties use high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener.
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