This pickled grilled vegetables technique was my favorite new discovery on the Kingsford University trip. It's quite a simple, and seemingly obvious trick, yet it never occurred to me. It's times like these when I'm faced with the tragic realization that I'm not as smart and creative as I think I am.
Basically, small pickling cucumbers (which I've always called, "pickles," even if they aren’t pickled yet, just to be confusing), as well as other firm vegetables, are seared briefly over very hot charcoal, before being packed in the sweet and sour pickling liquid.
The grilling imparts a subtle smokiness, as well as a little extra sweetness from the caramelization of the vegetables. I can see these being a regular fixture on the picnic table during the upcoming grilling season. What a perfect compliment to a platter of barbecued pork, or grilled chicken.
These tasted great after just one day, and even better after three. Please don't ask me how long they will last in the fridge, as I believe they should be eaten before that would become any kind of issue. I hope you give it a try, and be sure to tell me all the fabulous ways you flavored your pickling liquid. Enjoy!
(Adapted from a recipe by Chris Lilly)
6 pickling cucumbers
1 red bell pepper
1 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, or to taste
big pinch of red chili flakes
12 black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried dill