You Can Pickle That! 13 Ingredients Perfect for Pickling

When you hear the word “pickle,” does your mind automatically flash to the sour and garlicky spear on the side of your deli sandwich? Does "pickle" conjure up feelings of nostalgia, memories of your favorite BBQ joint, pairing the crunchy cucumber gherkins with your meat? Well, this collection of 13 ingredients that are perfect for pickling will blow your mind. There’s more to pickling than just the classic cucumber, so pickle whatever strikes your fancy. From cauliflower to watermelon, the pickling world is your oyster (and maybe you can pickle those too).

Photo: Josh Thomsen
(Josh Thomsen)

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There’s something about the tart crunch of a pickled cauliflower floret that really helps out the palate during the impossibly hot summer months. Throw in that wonderful brightness from a lemon, and you’ve sealed yourself an amazing mouth-watering pickled cauliflower deal. Yum.

Photo: Marisa McClellan
Marisa McClellan
Pickled caulifower is a real thing. And it's really delicious.

Did you know you could pickle a carrot? Well you can, and they’re not for the faint of heart. These spicy carrots pack a serious zing. They’re best when eaten a little bit at a time as part of a main dish. They’ll cut through the richness of meat ywith a spicy and unmistakably intense bite. They’re delicious. They’re extreme. And they’re more than worth a try.

Photo: Marisa McClellan
Marisa McClellan
Spicy pickled carrots are super powerful, and super delicious.

Brunch is a pretty phenomenal invention. If a Bloody Mary can make brunch even better than it already is, and only a pickled green been can make a Bloody Mary more wonderful, by the transitive property, a pickled green bean can take brunch from good to spectacular. These lemon-rosemary pickled green beans take the semi-ordinary and make them beyond extraordinary. Their floral scent, and vinegary bite lend themselves perfectly, well, to pretty much anything. But they will make the peppery tomato cocktail pop, and make your next brunch Bloody Mary more than memorable.

Photo: Food Network
Food Network
Perfect the Bloody Mary with these perfect pickled green beans.

If refreshing is the name of the game, then radishes are your men, so to speak. Bright. Tart. Crisp. Crunchy. Flat out delicious. Pickled radishes not only add a fun element to the palate, but they add a textural and visual whimsy to any dish. With their hot pink hue and their alluring taste, you can’t go wrong with cold pickled radishes on the side.

Photo: Better Homes and Gardens
Better Homes and Gardens
Pickled radishes are gorgeous and tart.

As the saying goes, we eat with our eyes first; and when it comes to sweet and tart pickled red onions, the beautifully colored strands stand out like a radiant jewel in the sand. The zesty crunch of these pickled onions are a perfect refreshing accompaniment to pretty much everything, and add a little bit of beauty to whatever plate it is you’re assembling.

Photo: The Kitchn
The Kitchn
Zesty, crunchy and beautiful, pickled onions are the

Pickled Ginger, also known as gari, is one of the most obvious accoutrements to any form of sushi. You know the stuff. Wet. Hot pink. Tart. Spicy. Sweet. Snappy. Tastes fantastic with raw fish and rice. But maybe what you didn’t know is that it’s easy to do in your kitchen. Don't worry if it doesn't come out pink - that usually only occurs with young ginger, and many sushi restaurants use natural dyes to enhance the pink color for presentation. Homemade gari is more of a white-yellow color, and it’s utterly divine.

Photo: Foodie with Family
Foodie with Family
Simply, utterly and fantastically divine, pickled ginger is a winner.

As traditional as watermelon wedges are on The Fourth of July, so too should be the popularity of pickled watermelon rinds! The easy, yet time consuming staple of The South is marked with a mouth-puckering sweet and sour bite that goes unparalleled. Serve along side grilled burgers and hot dogs for a delicious treat that will not only surprise you, but will refresh you in a whole new way. Served ice cold, the rinds will wake up your senses, and brighten your day!

Photo: Kitchen Riffs
Kitchen Riffs
Served ice cold, pickled watermelon rinds will wake up your senses, and brighten your day!

Pineapple may not sound like it’d be super mind-blowing as a pickle; but let me assure you it is. In fact, this pickled fruit may just give veggies a run for their money! The pungent garlic and spicy Sriracha give balance to the uber sweetness of the pineapple in this Asian-inspired pickle. Adding a splash of fish sauce lends a robust savory taste that brings out that famous fifth taste of umami with a joyful fury. The best part? Pineapple stands up famously to the acidic brine, thus giving your mouth a wild party with each bite.

Photo: Saveur
Pineapple stands up famously to the acidic brine, and thus giving your mouth a wild party with each bite.

Pickled pears. Say what? That’s right. Pickled pears. Along with pickled pineapples, pickled pears show veggies whose boss. With their snappy texture and bright, crisp flavor, pickled pears will quickly become the life of your salads. Top with some creamy blue cheese for a flavor sensation that is nothing short of remarkable.

Photo: Bon Appetit
Bon Appetit
Pickled pears. Say what? That’s right. Pickled pears.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers -- and so will you. While you might have seen this coming, pickled chili peppers are some of the most delicious additions to pretty much any meal, and are super simple to make. Plus, they’re incredibly long lasting. Although, with chilies this delicious, you won’t need to test their shelf life. They’ll be long gone by then.

Photo: Ruhlman
Pickled chili peppers are some of the most delicious additions to pretty much any meal. Fact.

With the summer months being unreasonably hot, you may find yourself craving something cold, crisp and bursting with a vinegary bite. Pickled celery may just be what the doctor ordered. This celery isn’t just a vessel to get the dip from the bowl to your mouth any longer. This new pickled friend of yours will brighten even the most dull recipes right up. Take an egg salad sandwich or even some tuna fish for instance. Your world may never be the same.

Photo: OnBlank
This new pickled friend of yours will brighten even the most dull recipes right up.

You know them. You either love them or you hate them. You can’t just “kind of” like Brussels sprouts. But if you’re a lover, and you want to find a new way to use them aside from roasting, sautéing, shredding or adding to soup, try them as a pickle. They are full of zest, zing and zazz, so if you want to add some pep to your pickling, consider using these little delights.

Photo: Marisa McClellan
Marisa McClellan
Brussels sprouts are full of zest, zing and zazz.

Pickled beets may be a completely acquired taste. But once you acquire it, there’s no going back. They’re sweet, salty, tart, sour and magical in your mouth. They’re also super easy to make when you’ve got fresh beets on your hands. So why not delve into the pickled variety of nature’s candy?

Photo: Cynthia Measom
Cynthia Measom
Beets are awesome, so why not delve into the pickled variety of nature’s candy?
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