Everyone’s familiar with the cucumber pickle as a quick, snappy way to savor your garden bounty long after summer. But pickling, both the traditional canning method and simpler quick-pickling, isn’t restricted to cukes. Here’s a look at some less common ways to preserve your produce with pickling. There are so many different types of pickles to make, so we’ve tried to cover as many options as possible for variety.
Watermelon Pickle Recipe
This classic Southern treat transforms otherwise wasted rind into a crispy, spicy-sweet summertime delicacy. Poet John Tobias had such fond memories of watermelon pickles that he wrote the poem after which a beloved poetry anthology is titled: “Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle Received from a Friend Called Felicity.”
Pickled Turmeric and Carrots Recipe
Turmeric is known for its use in curries and is most commonly found in powder form. But this anti-inflammatory root can also be eaten raw. This recipe pairs turmeric root with carrots and lemon for visually pleasing, crunchy pickles.
Hawaiian-Style Pickled Mango Recipe
Cultures across the world have their own versions of pickled mangoes, most of which use young green mangoes. The addition of li hing mui, a salty dried-plum treat, in this variation gives the mangoes a bold sweet-and-sour taste that is distinctly Hawaiian.
Pickled Seckel Pears
Pears may not sound like the best candidate for pickling, but this recipe proves otherwise. The additions of apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise turn pears into a juicy and complex treat perfect for topping autumn salads or accompanying smoked meats on a cheese plate. Seckel pears are one of the smallest varieties of the fruit, which means they can be pickled whole, making for gorgeous preparation worthy of gifting.
Pickled Chive Blossoms
Pickled Chive Blossoms Recipe
It would be a shame to waste the delicate purple flowers that chives produce, so here’s an easy way to make the best of them. The pickled blossoms themselves are a fun addition to salads and other dishes, while the infused vinegar can be used in vinaigrettes, slaws, or anywhere else you want a light chive-and-vinegar taste.
Pickled Apples in Balsamic
Pickled Apples in Balsamic Recipe
Balsamic vinegar isn’t used for pickling often, but its sweet, tart flavor is a perfect complement to apples. Add honey, rosemary, juniper berries, and shallots, and you have a wonderfully complex addition to salads, cheese boards, and more.
Spicy Pickled Pineapple
As if you needed another reason to love the tropical, sweet and tangy taste of pineapple, meet spicy pickled pineapple. The jalapeño, lime, and cilantro in this recipe make it perfect for serving with street tacos or garnishing a margarita.
Bloody Mary Pickles
Bloody Mary Pickles Recipe
You may have heard of adding pickles or pickle juice to a bloody mary, but what about bloody Mary pickles? These pickles pair garlic, dill, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes with bloody Mary mix for a complex, spicy taste. After the pickles are all gone, add some vodka to the leftover juice for a special cocktail.
Quick-Pickled Avocado Recipe
Few things are as sad as under-ripe avocados. But worry not—the solution is here, and it’s wonderfully simple. This recipe is highly customizable and versatile. Eat avocado quick pickles plain, serve on salads and sandwiches, or go bold by adding slices to fish tacos.
Pickled Rhubarb Recipe
Rhubarb’s tart flavor is typically offset by sugar, so pickling it may seem counterintuitive. But this pickled rhubarb recipe proves otherwise. Pickling in apple cider vinegar with sugar, ginger, and cloves makes for a tangy sweet treat that pairs as well with yogurt as it does with a burger.
Learn More About Peculiar Pickles
Writer Megan Smith Mauk grew up in Texas, where she developed a reverence for all forms of life. In college, she became co-chair of the environmental coalition. She now lives with her husband, and their dog and cat, in Virginia.