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Please recommend a super-simple, super-basic pickling cookbook?

My boyfriend loves pickles/pickled vegetables, so I thought a good intro-to-pickling cookbook would be a good gift. There's a million of them out there and I can't tell what would be a good starter cookbook (he has never done any pickling or canning of any kind). Would love a recommendation. Please advise... I'm not in a pickle, but want to be! ;-)

asked by pnoeric about 3 years ago
10 answers 1497 views
2011-03-07_18-28-41_870
added about 3 years ago

I would start with The Ball Blue Book. It covers all the basics and is the best reference to start.

Bunny_head_200x200
added about 3 years ago

I saw that, but was concerned that it would be too dry/basic.

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Peter

While Peter no longer works for Food52 he still thinks up ways to make the website better.

added about 3 years ago

Forget a cookbook. Try this. Slice a cucumber very thin, preferably on a mandoline (the Ben-Riner is cheap and has the added advantage of having infomercials for their other products right on the box -- I know you'll love that). Dump it in a bowl with some rice wine vinegar and a bit of sugar. How much of each? Enough vinegar to cover the cucumbers. Enough sugar that... it's palatable. It might be a teaspoon, it might be a tablespoon. Try it and see. 10 minutes later? Delicious "quick pickles" -- you'll love it. And if you want to take it to the next level, slice some red onion super-thin and add that to the bowl. Enjoy!

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added about 3 years ago

Thanks Peter. Sounds like you know what you're talking about.

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added about 3 years ago

Sandor Katz's "Wild Fermentation" is a bible for the pickling crowd. It has a whole range of recipes, from very simple and easy to more involved. Best of all, Katz is something of a pickling preacher, and his ruminations on fermentation make for a stimulating read.

Bunny_head_200x200
added about 3 years ago

Cool, I'll check it out!

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added about 3 years ago

Another great pickling gift, besides the book, would be a Japanese pickle press. They are usually pretty cheap, and you can find them at Japanese hardware stores or online. They are used to make the Japanese pickles tsukemono, but they are really helpful for any kind of pickle recipe. There are different sizes and versions, but they all work by using a weight or a spring to help keep the vegetables submerged in the brine.

Look for something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Japanese...

Bunny_head_200x200
added about 3 years ago

Oh, very neat idea. That would be fun to package with a pickle book. Thanks for the clever idea.

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added about 3 years ago

Canning for a New Generation by Lianna Krissoff, but I typically do like Peter recommended and quickle pickle. The Momofuku cookbook also has suggestions for many variations on the quick pickle.

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added about 3 years ago

I recommend actually going to a bookstore (or the library) and finding a book that appeals to your sense of taste. In terms of basics every book on pickling and canning will have exactly the same information, it's really a matter of finding one that has the kind of pickles you like in it (if you don't like sweet pickles, maybe the one that's mostly sweet pickle recipes isn't gonna be a hit. If you don't have a garden probably the one about preserving your garden's bounty is just going to be an annoyance.) and has pictures that you like.
Then understand that it's late in the season for cucumber pickles and make a ton of beet pickles and a gallon of chow-chow instead.