Canning and pickling recipes are some of the best ways to make the most out of your summer garden harvest— after all, one can only eat so many salads. An extra punch of flavor with fresh herbs, tangy brines and sweet syrupy reductions will turn simple fruits and veggies into some seriously tasty meal toppers. Plus, if you properly sterilize and seal your jars, your garden harvest can last for months on the shelf, so you can avoid scrambling to eat up all your produce before it spoils. Here are our favorite canning and pickling recipes for 2019 that are simple to make, absolutely delicious, and made with fresh garden vegetables you can grow here in Allentown:
SIMPLE BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLING RECIPE
These simple, classic cucumber pickles have that perfect sweet, salty, tangy balance that keeps you going back for second helpings. If you have any fresh onions or cilantro from the garden, this is one of the best pickling recipes to use some of that up. Pop these sliced pickled on top of burgers or fried chicken sandwiches, or pile some up on a charcuterie board as an accompaniment for some fancy cheese, sausage, and crostinis. Recipe makes 1 large jar.
1 lb. sliced cucumbers
1 large onion
¼ cup Kosher salt
½ cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. ground mustard seed
1 tbsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. thinly minced cilantro
Two full ice cube trays
Mix up the cucumbers, onion, and salt in a medium-sized bowl, and then top that off with the ice cubes. Let the mixture sit out for 2 hours, and then strain out the water. In a large saucepot, boil the vinegar, sugar, and spices, then add in the cucumber mix. Once this mixture begins to boil again, remove it from the heat and let it cool down. Voila! The perfect sweet pickle for all your summer barbecues.
KOREAN RADISH PICKLES
This pickling recipe only contains 5 simple ingredients, and the spicy-sweet flavor is totally unbeatable. If you’ve got a sizeable radish harvest, these pickles will be a fabulous topper for barbecued short ribs with a sweet Asian glaze, ramen noodles, or spicy Korean fried chicken. Recipe makes 1 large jar.
1 lb. thinly sliced radishes
1 cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup water
¼ tsp. sea salt
This easy pickling method is pretty much foolproof. Simply boil the vinegar, sugar, water, and salt together until dissolved. Fill a glass jar with the radishes and pour in the vinegar mix. Let it cool for a few hours, then close the lid. Refrigerate overnight.
BLUEBERRY BASIL JAM
The best part about this flavorful preserve is how versatile it is. Fragrant, minty garden basil complements the juicy blueberries fabulously and can be used in so many different dishes, savory or sweet. Try baking some pork tenderloin with a glaze made with this jam mixed in with a bit of balsamic vinegar or add a dollop onto a cheese board for a sweet and salty summer snack. Recipe makes enough for 5 standard-sized jam jars.
5 cups blueberries
2 ¼ cups sugar
½ pkg sugar-free powdered pectin
¼ cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
¼ cup water
½ tbsp lemon juice
Mix the pectin with 2 tbsp of sugar in a small bowl. Measure out the remaining 2 cups + 2 tbsp of sugar and set aside in another bowl. Blend blueberries in a food processor until chopped, but don’t overdo it and liquefy them. Pour most of the blueberry mix into a saucepan, leaving a few spoonfuls in the food processor. Add the lemon, water, and basil into the food processor and pulse until it’s blended and free of any chunks. Add this mixture into the saucepan, followed by the pectin mixture. Cook over medium-high heat until it reaches a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the remaining sugar that was set aside previously and bring it back to a boil for one minute. Remove from heat and skim any foamy stuff from the top. Scoop the jam into your jars and leave about 1/8 of an inch of space from the brim. Screw on the lids and process the jam by placing the full jars in a pot of boiling water for ten minutes. Remove the jars and let them cool for one full day before eating.
EASY ITALIAN CANNING TOMATOES
Anyone who has grown tomatoes is likely familiar with the sudden emergence of an endless supply of fruit, not knowing how to use them up in time before they start to turn. This ultra-easy canning recipe will extend the shelf life of your tomatoes by several months, and with the addition of some fresh garden basil, they’re ready to add into pasta sauces, chili, and all sorts of yummy tomato-based recipes. Recipe makes 4 standard-sized jars full.
4 lbs tomatoes
8 basil leaves (2 for each jar, but you can add more if you like)
2 tsp. Kosher salt
¼ cup lemon juice
In a pot of boiling water, quickly blanch the tomatoes for 30 seconds, just until the skins start to loosen and peel. Use a slotted spoon to lift the tomatoes out of the water and place them on a wire rack to cool. Slice the tomatoes down the center and squeeze the seeds out. Pop the tomatoes into the jars, press in 2 or more basil leaves, and add 1 tbsp of lemon juice and ½ tsp of salt into each jar. Gently stir the tomatoes with a butter knife to let out any air bubbles that may be trapped. Close the jars and process them in a pot of boiling water for 90 minutes.
Allentown gardeners, take note: your delicious summer harvest can be enjoyed well after summer has passed with these fabulous canning and pickling recipes. You aren’t just limited to tomatoes, blueberries, cucumbers, and radishes, either. Try experimenting with other harvest vegetables like zucchini, carrots, and beans! They’re delicious and easy to make, plus they make awesome homemade gifts.