Tag Archives: side dish
I’m not exactly sure how my love affair with pickled foods began, but I’m willing to bet that it started out for more aesthetic reasons than gustatory.
I am absolutely a sucker for packaging – who knows if those “Bed Head” products are any better than the generic, but every time I see those bright, eye-catching bottles, I contemplate shelling out the 13 bucks just to have it on my shelf. I think the same thing happens when I see pickled foods – there’s something about those beautiful glass Ball jars that fills me with nostalgia. After all, pickling is a great way to preserve fruits, vegetables and other foods from seasons past – opening a jar of pickled peaches is a perfect way to get a little taste of summertime, even in the dead of winter.
Aside from the symbolic cucumber “pickle”, almost everything and anything can be pickled and canned. Most people know pickled ginger from the pink stuff alongside their sushi, but I love it so much that I can pop the little slices as a snack. The apples provide color, and also soak up all that tangy, spicy pickled ginger flavor.
You’re probably noticing a theme so far, too – I am a big fan of flavor combinations. This single Ball jar plays host to lots of different flavors and textures – sweet, tangy, spicy, crunchy – and the longer it sits, the better it gets.
I tend to plow through my pickled foods fairly quickly, swiping a handful or two every time I go to the fridge, but if you plan to keep these for a long time or give them as gifts, you’ll want to process your jars in a hot water bath. I plan on writing a more detailed post about canning in the future, but in the meantime, you can read about processing your canned fruits, veggies and other foods here.
Pickled Apples and Ginger
Fills One Quart Jar
1 lb. ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
1 red delicious apple, sliced thinly
2 cups apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cinnamon sticks, whole
2 star anise pods, whole
1. Sterilize a one-quart glass jar in boiling water. Dry and set aside.
2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and cook ginger and apple slices until slightly softened. You should only need to cook it for about one minute. Drain in a colander.
3. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar and salt. Stir until sugar and salt have dissolved and bring to a boil.
4. Make sure apple and ginger slices are dried well, and transfer them to the jar. Insert the cinnamon sticks and anise pods, then cover with the vinegar mixture. The ginger and apples should be completely submerged in the liquid.
5. Lid the jar and allow it to cool before refrigerating. Allow flavors to mingle overnight, then enjoy in stir-fries, marinades, sauces, on sandwiches, or straight from the jar. The ginger and apples will keep for about six months in the refrigerator.