This was a very special year for me because I grew my first vegetable garden. It gave me so much joy and pride, the feeling that I can fullfil at least part of my family's need for food by producing it myself. Also, now when the winter is here, I am happy that I had been able to capture summer at least in the jars.
Since there were a lot of green tomatoes left in my garden I decided to pickle them, and preserve them for the winter time. Then, I added more vegetables because I like it colorful: cauliflower, carrots, celery and some peppers.
And I got a great recipe from my girlfriend Milica, who had gotten it from her mom.
But the magic taste came from spices: bay leaf, black peppercorn, coriander and especially dill seeds (last two grown in my garden).
I played with this recipe, I made two batches, one with original measures and one with half of sugar and salt. In one jar I even added horseradish. Vegetables with original measures have more distinctive taste because the brine is stronger.
On the overall, pickled vegetables turned out to be crispy, sour in a good way, still with vivid color, and with just fantastic taste. I have to say that only tomatoes are not so good, maybe because I don't like green tomatoes. I used cherry green tomatoes, maybe I should have tried bigger ones.
I keep my turšija (pickled vegetables) in glass jars in the fridge where they can last for couple of months.
To pickle 4 lb of vegetables you need:
3 cups water
1 cup white alcohol vinegar
4 Tbs. sugar
4 Tbs. salt
Few dry bay leaves
1 tsp. coriander seeds
2 Tbs. dill seeds
1/2 Tbs. whole black peppercorn
Wash green tomatoes and peppers thoroughly.
Peel, trim and slice carrots.
Clean and slice celery stalks .
Clean cauliflower and divide it in small florets.
In a pot mix all brine ingredients, water, vinegar and spices. Bring to boil, then remove from the heat and leave it to cool down.
Stuff the glass jars tightly with the vegetables. You can make layer of each one, or you can mix them up. Jars have to be full to the very top.
When the brine is cold pour over the vegetables. Cover each jar with a saucer and leave it overnight. Tomorrow, close jars tightly with original lids and refrigerate.
In about 10 days your pickled vegetables are ready to be eaten. You can also wait longer as pickling process continues, resulting in more sour but less crunchy vegetables.