Make Ahead

Spicy Celery Quick Pickle Sticks

March 13, 2012
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Why should cucumbers have all the fun? Celery sticks make great, snappy, crunchy quick pickles. You can use these pickles in sandwiches, on charcuterie plates, in salads—and best of all, you can use them as the best Bloody Mary garnish *ever*. You can make these in whatever size you like. If you want to make dramatically long pickle sticks (to place in a Bloody Mary glass, for example), there are directions on how to do that below. —vrunka

Test Kitchen Notes

These spicy little sticks are just that ...spicy! And oh so tasty. They're quick to make and the kick you get from the chili flakes packs a punch. They don't need to sit for long in the pickling juice, so they're ready before you know it. There are two quantities of mustard seed listed: I used 1.5 tsp of black mustard seed. I can see why this would go well with a bloody mary! —Victoria Ross

  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Makes 12-20 pickles
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cracked peppercorns
  • 8 large celery stalks, peeled and cut into pieces (see note)
In This Recipe
  1. Bring the vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and add garlic, mustard seed, peppercorns, chili flakes.
  2. Place the celery pieces in a large bowl (preferably glass or ceramic) and pour the vinegar mixture over it. Stir to combine spices. Make sure all the pieces are submerged in the brine. Allow to cool completely (at least a couple hours) before serving.
  3. If you would like to make longer stalks into pickles, you can cut them to the length of the tallest wide-mouthed Mason jar you have. Stand them upright in the jar and pour the brine over them. Cover tightly. As the pickles cool, you may have to shake the jar (carefully!) to distribute the spices and brine.
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