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Ashleigh Smith

Sep 13
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pickled vegetable assortment
Chelsea Hafer Written By Chelsea Hafer

In the world of culinary artistry, pickling stands as a timeless technique that transforms fresh vegetables into tangy, flavorful treats. From the classic crunch of pickled cucumbers to the zest of pickled beets, a wide array of vegetables can undergo this transformation, offering a rainbow of colors and tastes that elevate our dishes.

Classic Pickling Vegetables:


Arguably the superstar of pickling, cucumbers are known for their crispness and ability to soak up the flavors of the pickling solution. Whether you're making dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, or a spicy variation, cucumbers are a reliable and popular choice.


Carrots bring a vibrant burst of color to the pickling world. Sliced into sticks, coins, or even creatively shaped with a crinkle cutter, they take on both the taste and hue of the pickling solution. Be sure to blanch briefly in boiling water and shock them in ice water before pickling. This will help maintain their crispness. For an extra kick, consider adding aromatic spices like garlic and dill.


Cauliflower florets, with their nooks and crannies, are perfect vessels for capturing the pickling brine. The result is a medley of flavors that range from tangy to slightly sweet. For a visual treat, mix in vibrant purple or orange cauliflower varieties.


Pickled onions offer a sweet and tangy kick that complements a variety of dishes. Red onions are a popular choice for their striking color and bold flavor. Slice them thinly for quick pickling or experiment with pearl onions for an elegant touch.

Sweet Peppers

Bell peppers add both color and sweetness to your pickling repertoire. Cut them into strips or rings, and choose a mix of red, yellow, and green peppers for a visually appealing jar. Consider adding a touch of heat with chili flakes or whole chili peppers.


For those who crave a fiery kick, pickled jalapeños are a must-have. These peppers add a burst of heat to sandwiches, tacos, and more. To control the spiciness, remove the seeds and membranes before pickling.

Lesser-Known Pickling Vegetables:


Pickled beets offer a stunning burst of color and a unique earthy flavor. Roast or steam the beets before pickling for added depth, then peel and slice them. Boil them briefly in the pickling solution to infuse them with flavor. The longer the beets pickle, the deeper their color and flavor will become. The pickling liquid can be enhanced with spices like cloves and cinnamon, creating a symphony of flavors.


Pickled radishes transform from peppery crunch to tangy delight. Experiment with different radish varieties, such as watermelon radishes with their beautiful pink center. Radishes can be sliced thinly for a quick pickling process.


Asparagus adds elegance to the pickling world, delivering a blend of earthiness and tang. Trim the woody ends and blanch the spears before pickling. Blanch them until they're bright green and slightly tender. Place them in the pickling liquid while it's still hot to help them absorb the flavors. Consider adding a sprig of fresh dill to enhance the flavor profile.

Green Beans

Crisp and vibrant, pickled green beans (also known as dilly beans) are a delightful snack or addition to cocktails. Trim the ends and blanch the beans briefly before pickling to maintain their crunch. Blanch green beans until they're crisp-tender, then shock them in ice water. Combine them with garlic, dill, and red pepper flakes in the pickling liquid.

Summer Squash

As an unexpected contender, zucchini and Yellow summer squashes can be pickled to create a delightful addition to salads and sandwiches. Slice them thinly for a delicate crunch, then salt them and let them drain for about 30 minutes to remove excess moisture. Rinse and pat them dry before pickling. Allow them to marinate in the pickling solution to absorb the flavors. Pair with fresh thyme and lemon zest to enhance their flavor.

Brussels Sprouts

For a unique twist, pickled Brussels sprouts offer a tangy and savory experience. Trim the tough stems and blanch them briefly before pickling. Make a small cross-cut on the stem end to allow the pickling solution to penetrate. Use garlic, mustard seeds, and black peppercorns for a robust flavor.

The world of pickled vegetables is diverse and exciting, offering countless ways to add tang and flavor to your meals. From the classics like cucumbers and carrots to the lesser-known vegetables like pickled beets and asparagus, there's a vegetable for every palate and every occasion. For beginner picklers, make sure you remember that experimentation is key—try different spices, herbs, and flavor combinations to create your signature pickled delights. Whether you're adorning a sandwich or seeking a savory snack, the art of pickling vegetables promises a vibrant burst of flavor that's as versatile as it is delicious.

Chelsea Hafer, True Leaf Market Writer

Chelsea is a passionate advocate for sustainable agriculture and loves getting her hands dirty and watching things grow! She graduated from Georgetown University in 2022 with a degree in Environmental Justice and now resides in Park City, Utah, where she works as a ski instructor. Her love for nature extends to gardening and hiking, and she has gained valuable insights from working on farms in Italy, Hawaii, and Mexico, learning various sustainable agriculture techniques like permaculture and Korean Natural Farming.

Become a True Leaf Market Brand Ambassador! You’ll enjoy awesome perks, free products and exclusive swag & offers! Help us create a gardening revolution and help others experience the joy of growing!

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