Every spread full of gloriously rich foods needs something to lighten up the mood, especially during barbecue season. Quick pickles are a fantastic way to bring that spark. And unlike their long-fermented counterparts, they can be ready in just a short amount of time—minutes, in some cases. For some quick pickling inspiration, here’s a list of our favorite ingredients that can hold a brine.
1. Easy Quick Pickles
Our basic recipe can be used to brine virtually any vegetable. Although we like to use a mix of mustard seed, peppercorn, and bay leaf to add some aromatics, you can feel free to experiment with the herbs and spices. Get our Easy Quick Pickles recipe.
2. Momofuku Kirby Cucumber Pickle
Perhaps the simplest and quickest pickle of them all, kirby cucumbers only need a bit of salt and sugar to reach their snappiest. Get our Momofuku Kirby Cucumber Pickle recipe.
3. Bread-and-Butter Radishes
Radishes in the raw can have a bracing pepperiness. But after a short soak, they mellow out into something delightfully sweet and sour. Get our Bread-and-Butter Radishes recipe.
4. Tangy Cucumber Pickles (Ah-jaht)
For those who like it hot, these pickles feature bird’s eye chiles in the brine. Typically served with curries or satay, they act as a palate cleanser in between bites. Get our Tangy Cucumber Pickles (Ah-jaht) recipe.
5. Pickled Carrots
Pickling intensifies carrots’ crunch, as well as their sweet flavor. These little slivers will instantly perk up a sandwich or salad. Get our Pickled Carrots recipe.
6. Quick Pickled Daikon And Watermelon Radishes
Japanese and Korean cuisines incorporate pickles into nearly every meal. These paper-thin daikon nibbles would fit right in next to your traditional banchan or tsukemono. Get the recipe here.
7. Quick-Pickled Jalapeños
8. Pickled Red Onions
Pretty in pink, pickled onions are ideal for adding bright punch to slow cooked meats and more. Get our Pickled Red Onions recipe.
9. Pickled Yellow Squash
Thin slices of squash soak up brine in virtually no time at all. When ready, they have a texture that’s slithery but not slimy. Get the recipe here.
10. Pickled Prawns
Yup, that’s right. Even seafood can get in on the pickling game, too. These perky shrimp make a fun snack and a festive garnish for bloody marys. Get our Pickled Prawns recipe.
11. Quick Pickled Apples
Some fruits enjoy the magic of pickling as well. Here, apples take on the perfumey aroma of star anise, for an entrancing treat that doesn’t need anything to accompany it. Get the recipe here.
Miki Kawasaki is a New York City–based food writer and graduate of Boston University's program in Gastronomy. Few things excite her more than a well-crafted sandwich or expertly spiced curry. If you ever run into her at a dinner party, make sure to hit her up for a few pieces of oddball culinary trivia.