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! ;-)

  • Posted by: pnoeric
  • November 28, 2011
  • 4132 views
  • 10 Comments

6 Comments

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Helen's All Night Diner
Helen's All Night Diner November 28, 2011

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

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pnoeric
pnoeric November 28, 2011

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

Peter
Peter November 28, 2011

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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pnoeric
pnoeric November 28, 2011

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

linzarella
linzarella November 28, 2011

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.

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pnoeric
pnoeric November 28, 2011

Cool, I'll check it out!

linzarella
linzarella November 28, 2011

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-Pickle-Tsukemono-Press-546-281/dp/B0006MM4R4

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pnoeric
pnoeric November 28, 2011

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

Summer of Eggplant
Summer of Eggplant November 28, 2011

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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Ophelia
Ophelia November 28, 2011

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.

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