'Top Chef' Gail Simmons Shows Us How to Quick Pickle Vegetables

Pure Leaf

Trained culinary expert, food writer, and Top Chef judge Gail Simmons stopped by CafeMom recently to demonstrate her simple technique for quick pickling vegetables. Yes ... finally, a way to recreate those delicious pickled veggies you've been enjoying in all the cool restaurants. We love the perky flavor of these pickled delights, but we had no idea they were so easy to make ourselves. 


According to Simmons, you can quick pickle any crunchy vegetables, including carrots, cauliflower, green beans, cucumbers, and daikon radishes. Take a look at Gail's easy how-to (seriously, you can do this):

How simple is that? Just a few minutes of hands-on work. And what wonderful little gift jars these can make, perfect for impressing all the foodies in your life. 

Sure, pickled veggies are wonderful and zippy right out of the jar, but Gail also shares a simple but exquisite salad recipe. Pickled radishes, for the win. 

Pure Leaf

Shaved Vegetable Salad with Tea Pickled Radishes

Serves 4

For the tea-pickled radishes:
1 cup Pure Leaf Sweet Tea, warmed but not boiling
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar
8 small radishes, thinly sliced or 4 large watermelon radishes
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

In a medium bowl, combine the tea with the salt; stir to dissolve.
Add the vinegar along with the radishes, garlic, and peppercorns. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight.
Drain the pickled radishes, reserving 1/4 cup of pickling liquid for use in vinaigrette. Set aside.

For the shaved vegetable salad:
1/4 cup reserved pickling liquid
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 sweet, crisp apples, such as Gala or Fuji, cored and thinly sliced into half moons
2 small heads radicchio, thinly sliced
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a bias, leaves reserved for garnish
2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Tea-pickled radishes (see recipe above)

Pour the reserved pickling liquid into a large bowl. Add the honey and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Slowly add olive oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly to emulsify.
Add the fennel, apple, radicchio, celery, parsley, and pickled radishes to the bowl and toss all ingredients together to coat.
Season with more salt and pepper if desired and garnish with celery leaves before serving.

What are you waiting for? Go on and get to pickling, quick! 

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