To me, Brussels sprouts are an under-appreciated vegetable. Even as a young child, they have always been one of my favorites. Maybe it’s their smell while they’re cooking that turns people off? I will admit that if they are just boiled they don’t smell very appetizing, but if you cook them right, they’re really quite delicious.
A few years ago I discovered a new way to eat them when The Husband and I went to a farmer’s market where there was a stand of pickled vegetables. I am a pickle freak and will eat just about any kind of pickle so I went over to check it out. At this stand, they had pickled Brussels sprouts and I had to try them. On that day I discovered one of my favorite ways to eat Brussels sprouts.
July 22nd is Can-It-Forward Day and I was invited to participate. I have never canned before so I was excited to give it a try.
I was sent a set of four Ball® Elite® wide mouth canning jars and a wonderful All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving for review. When Ball said they were going to send me a cookbook, I was expecting a small booklet with a handful of recipes, but this cookbook is truly amazing! It is loaded with creative recipes for jellies, jams, pickles, salsas and more.
While browsing through the cookbook I noticed there was a recipe for pickled Brussels sprouts so of course, I had to try them. In addition to recipes, the All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving includes detailed instructions for hot water and pressure canning. As a canning novice, this book made it easy.
Making pickled Brussels sprouts
First, prepare your Brussels sprouts (fresh, please) by removing any discolored leaves and cutting off the stem. Once the stem is removed, cut a small X in the bottom with a paring knife.
After your sprouts are trimmed, boil them in hot water for about four minutes and drain. I let them sit in the colander for about a half hour before starting on the next steps so they would be cool enough to handle.
At this time you should also have a large ceramic or stainless steel pot with hot water simmering on medium heat. To this, you will add your empty jars to prepare them. This will help avoid cracking from extreme temperature changes.
While your Brussels sprouts are cooling, add some vinegar, water, and salt to a pan. I used Kosher salt, but you could use pickling salt or sea salt. Allow the water to boil and turn it down to a simmer until you are ready to use it.
While the vinegar and water solution is doing its thing, put your jars in the hot water. After a couple of minutes, remove the jars and add peppercorns, garlic, a lemon wedge, and a head of dill.
To that, you will add the cooled Brussels sprouts and cover with the water and vinegar solution then cover the jars. Put your covered jars back in the large pan of hot water, cover, and leave them in the water for about ten minutes.
Be sure to adjust for altitude. Here in the Denver ‘burbs, ten minutes is fine as we are a bit above 5300 feet. At sea level, you will leave them in for less time, more at higher elevations above 6000 feet.
When time is up, remove the jars and put them on a towel. Let them sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours then make sure the lids are properly sealed. If so, store in your pantry or cabinet for about 3 weeks before opening. Your pickled Brussels sprouts should keep for about a year.