Easy Summer Pickles to Make

A picnic at Wolf Trap - DIY pickles are your star!

DIY Bread & Butter pickles, Pickled Mango and Pickled Jicama. Photo by Linda Wang.

DIY Bread & Butter pickles, Pickled Mango and Pickled Jicama. Photo by Linda Wang.

From the Edible DC Summer 2019 Issue- What’s in Season?

Sponsored by Wolf Trap | wolftrap.org | Photography by Linda Wang

Nothing heralds the peak of summer in the DMV more than an evening spent at Wolf Trap. Whether it’s a group of friends or just the two of you, is there anything better than finding a great spot, spreading out the blanket, opening the cooler to lay out a great spread, then just relaxing to hear the music under the stars?

Wolf Trap annually sponsors Edible DC’s “What’s in Season?” with delicious ideas for seasonal picnicking at the performance center. This summer, the Wolf Trap culinary team shares one of their most popular items at the OVATIONS restaurant: pickled fruits and vegetables that will help you make a beautiful cheese and fruit board with some zing. Simply add some sliced meats for a full charcuterie board experience, perhaps some candied or smoked nuts as well?

No time to pickle and pack you own? Order a gourmet picnic from Wolf Traps’ OVATIONS by America Eats for pickup before the show; order online at americaeatstavern.com/store/catering/or call 703-255-4017. Choose from a variety of options and your picnic will be ready when you arrive. Or try the OVATIONS restaurant, a full buffet served with beautiful views of the grounds and performance center. The buffet serves up classic American Eats dishes that honor seasonal, local and regional flavors starting two and a half  hours before the show. Make a reservation online at americaeatstavern.com/location/wolf-trap or call 703-255-4017.

Photo by Linda Wang.

Photo by Linda Wang.

Wolf Trap Overnight Pickles

From the chef at Wolf Trap, the pickles in these recipes are “quick pickles” and will not take much time to create an easy-to-pack and brag-worthy spread. Serves 4–6. For recipes for pickled peaches and bread and butter pickles, go to edibledc.com/wolf-trap-pickles

Pickled Jicama

1 small jicama, cubed

1 jalapeño, minced

½ cup white wine vinegar

½ cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

½ jalapeño pepper, minced

Peel the jicama with a knife and cut it into small cubes. Seed and mince the jalapeño, making sure to wash your hands after handling the pepper. In a small saucepan on medium heat, add the vinegars, honey, salt and pepper. Stir until combined.

Pour the hot vinegar over the jicama cubes, and add the minced ½ pepper.

Pack into a quart-sized Mason jar and refrigerate. Tastes best when it has marinated for at least 24 hours, but you can make a quick pickle out of it by letting it sit for about 30 minutes.

Pickled Mango
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
3 cardamom pods, crushed
¾ cup distilled white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
Kosher salt
6 thin slices peeled ginger
2 dried chile de arbol
2 large firm mangos, peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges

Heat the cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, peppercorns and cardamom in a small skillet over medium-low heat, stirring until toasted, about 4 minutes. Make the brine by combining the vinegar, ¾ cup water, the sugar, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon salt, the ginger, chiles and toasted spices in a medium saucepan.

Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring to dissolve the sugar, 5 minutes. Pack the mango wedges into a 1-quart jar, then pour in the hot brine; let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 1 week.

Pickled Peaches

3½ cups sugar

1½ cups white vinegar

14–16 ripe medium peaches, peeled

8 whole cloves

2 sticks cinnamon

1-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

Bring a canning pot of water to a boil. Submerge 2 (1-quart) canning jars and their lids and ring bands in boiling water; sterilize equipment for 10 minutes. Remove from boiling water with tongs, draining jars, and transfer to a clean dish towel.

Combine sugar, vinegar and 1½ cups water in a heavy medium­-size pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Working in batches, slide peaches into the pickling liquid and cook, turning once or twice, until peaches soften but before they turn fuzzy, 4–5 minutes per batch. Transfer peaches to a bowl as done.

Divide cloves, cinnamon and ginger between the 2 jars. Cut any peaches with brown spots into halves or quarters, discarding pits, and trim away the brown spots. Spoon peaches into the jars, filling the gaps with the halves and quarters and packing the jars as tightly as possible.

Return pickling liquid to a boil, then pour boiling liquid into each jar, covering peaches and filling jar to ¼ from the rim. Let liquid settle in jars, then add more boiling liquid as necessary. Discard any remaining liquid. Wipe jar rims with a clean dish towel, place lids on jars and screw on ring band.

Bread and Butter Pickles

2½ pounds pickling cucumbers (fresh from the market)

1 pound white or yellow onions, thinly sliced

¼  cup pickling salt, or can use kosher salt (Regular table salt has additives in it that will turn the pickles dark and muddy the color of the pickle juice.)

1¼ cups white distilled vinegar (5% acidity)

1 cup apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)

2¼ cups sugar

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¾ teaspoon celery seeds

1 inch cinnamon stick

6 allspice berries plus a pinch of ground allspice

6 whole cloves plus a pinch of ground cloves

½ teaspoon turmeric

Carefully rinse the cucumber, cleaning all dirt away. Slice into ¼-inch-thick slices. Place in large bowl.

Add the sliced onions and pickling salt. Stir so the salt is well distributed among the cucumber slices. Cover with clean cheesecloth, and then cover that with a couple of inches of ice.

Put in the refrigerator and let chill for 4 hours. Discard ice. Rinse the cumber and onions slices thoroughly; drain. Rinse and drain again.

In a 4- or 6-quart pot, place the vinegar, sugar and all of the spices. Bring to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the sliced cucumbers and onions. Bring to a boil again. As soon as the sugar vinegar solution begins boiling again turn off heat and allow to cool. Keep in airtight jars in a refrigerator for 3 weeks.