Pickled Spring

It seems like most of North America is a lot closer to summer, while the Avalon is still in early spring mode. That being said, there's a big advantage to this: spring crops can get a second (or third) round before the heat starts. As well, while we may not have had a lot of sun, we've had plenty of rain, which is great for some plants. The question then becomes, what do we do with all the extra? I have one word for you: PICKLING.

A lot of people associate pickling with the fall; beets, cucumbers, late-crop beans and the like. Personally, I think that a lot of spring veggies get even better with a good dose of brine! So, with that, here are a few recipes to capture spring in a bottle of herbs, vinegar and salt.

Asparagus, Photo by Liz West

Asparagus is reaching the end of its season in Eastern parts of Canada, but if you can find some fresh stuff, Pickled Asparagus is a real treat. This recipe, courtesy of WellPreserved.ca (a blog run by a fantastic couple in Toronto) would also work for my favourite pickle in the world, Pickled Garlic Scapes.

Speaking of Pickled Garlic Scapes, Washington's Green Grocer has a very interesting spin on them, including flowers in the final product!

Just about everyone I know has access to at least one rhubrarb plant, which isn't surprising since it grows like a weed! I love the tart flavour of rhubarb, so I'm very curious to try giving it a dose of brine!

And finally, need to clear out some of those turnip greens before they go bad? Why not give try this Pickled Mustard Greens recipe a try? The basic principle would be the same, and you'd have a really interesting side dish for spicy stir fries or BBQ skewers.