Pickled Brussels sprouts

Over the course of the past two weekends I taught my first canning classes (outside of those I’ve hosted in my home). The wonderful folks out at Austin’s own Faraday’s Kitchen Store contacted me months ago about doing a two-part Canning 101 series, one sweet recipe and one pickle recipe. We made strawberry jam the first weekend from local, hydroponically-grown berries.

I thought you might like to see how the pickling class went. (I completely forgot to photograph the sweet preserves class, oops!) I opted for Brussels sprouts this weekend because they’re in season here in Austin, Texas, and it’s generally something people might not think to pickle. Removing 10lbs of Brussels sprouts from their stalks is a whole other story…No pickling class is complete without pickled snacks!My students arrived and asked such great questions.What a joy it was to pickle in such a fab kitchen space.And now, to answer the question you’re about to ask. The recipe!

White wine pickled Brussels sprouts

modified ever so slightly from Linda Ziedrich’s excellent recipe for Pickled Cauliflower

yields 4 pints

1. Bring 4 pint jars to a boil for 10 minutes in your canner pot (or tall stockpot with a rack). This might take 30 min or more, depending on the size of your pot.

2. Wash and set aside ~2lbs of Brussels sprouts, cut larger ones in half.

3. Pull out your jars and add the following amounts of spices to each jar:

  • 1/4 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole corriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1 small (or 1/2 large) dried hot or smoky pepper (I used Goya brand ‘Chile Pulla’ dried peppers)

4. Combine the following in a medium non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the salt granules:

  • 2-1/2 cups filtered water
  • 2-1/2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs pickling salt (or fine-grain white sea salt, NOT iodized table salt)

Keep an eye on the brine and remove it from heat once it boils.

5. Place 4 new lids (that fit your jars) in a small saucepan with enough water to cover them completely. Simmer the lids to warm up the gummy seal stuff. Remove from heat and set aside.

6. Pack raw Brussels sprouts into jars pressing them in firmly, leaving about an inch of space from the rim of the jar.

7. Pour hot brine over the contents of the jar. It will be hard to bubble them since you packed the sprouts in so tightly, but you can remove excess air bubbles trapped down inside the jar by using a small rubber spatula or plastic Chinese soup spoon and pressing firmly down on the veggies at the top of the jar. You’ll see little air bubbles come up. Top any of the jars off with extra brine once they’re bubbled so you have 1/2-inch headspace (space between the rim of jar and brine).

8. Wipe rims to remove excess vinegar/salt brine and seal with two piece lids. Process in your canner pot for 10 minutes.

Try to wait at least 2 weeks to break into these pickles to allow for the spices to infuse and mature. If you want to omit the waterbath, you can fridge pickle this same quantity in 2 quart jars (2 pints in a quart). For a pickle that’s ready faster (and is possibly a bit cloudier), crush your spices before adding them to the jars.

A reader suggested on the Facebook page that the perfect place for this pickle is in a bloody mary. Cheers all!