July 14th, 2010
I want to learn how to pickle.
No. I want to know how to pickle.
Like, really, KNOW how. In an inspired way.
Beauce, who doesn’t love pickles?! I know they are popular with the kiddos. My kids are certainly proof. The tangy, sour flavor is excitingly explosive to them. It’s the same phenomenon as sour candies. Extreme flavor is fun. Funny even. And why not use that to get your kids excited about asparagus, beets, green beans and cabbage. Or just to spice up their food a little bit.
So, until I’m Queen Pickler (ewww), I’ll be practicing. And I want you to practice with me!
It’s been a while since I’ve made these, but I love the quick pickled red onions in my favorite summer salad of potato, tomato and quick pickled red onion. And, for all my talk of vegetables above, I recently moved on to quick pickled golden raisins. I was curious to see how something sweet would come out. (Amazingly good is the answer.)
I definitely plan on investing time to pickle things for longer than 15 minutes but, really, who—what busy parent—can argue with quick pickling? These raisins cook in about 15 min from start to finish. Then just let them cool and enjoy. I used mine in a chickpea and spinach curry one night and in a beet salad (recipe coming later this week) another. If you have any left over—and that’s a big if!—store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.
Quick Pickled Golden Raisins
(can be shared with kids 6+ mos)*
1 1 /3 c golden raisins (about 1/2 lb)
1/2 c water
1/2 c white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/3 c sugar
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
4 allspice berries
2 whole star anise
1. Put raisins and all of the other ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium low and gently simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Let raisins cool completely. Store raisins in an airtight container in the pickling liquid. Drain before serving.
Note: Raisins are super sweet (which is why I don’t typically give them to beginner eaters) and can be sticky (ie, a choking hazard). In small amounts and cut into age-approprite bite sizes, though, there’s no reason not to share these with children as young as 6 or 8 months (pureed into their food). Just a few can jazz up their food nicely!