Why It Works
- A combination of mustard seeds, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves adds flavor and zing to Brussels sprouts.
- An optional pinch of red pepper flakes adds heat.
Once a year, my husband and I take a vacation to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. As a holiday destination, it has many things going for it. First, it is all of an hour and a half's drive from our home in Center City Philadelphia but still manages to feel worlds away from our urban neighborhood. Second, everything from groceries to accommodation is more affordable compared to other drivable locales. And third, it is the land of pickles.
Truly, everywhere you go, you encounter walls of pickles. From supermarkets to gift shops, you can't turn around without spotting jars of pickled beans, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, relishes, beets, and more. As you might guess, I adore it.
It was on one of these vacations that I discovered pickled Brussels sprouts. I've been a sprout fan for years. Love them roasted, sautéed, shredded or even quartered and added to soup. But I had never thought of pickling them before spotting that jar.
Of course, as soon as we returned home, I searched the available recipes and cobbled together a few in an attempt to recreate that storebought jar. I've made many batches since then, and have settled on a favorite recipe. It includes garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and mustard seeds. They're wonderfully zingy.
Before You Start
Before you start cleaning your sprouts, here are a few things you should know.
Trim and halve the sprouts; it makes for better brine absorption. Note: if your sprouts are tiny, there's really no need to cut them in half.
If you like your pickles to have a bit of heat, add 1/8 teaspoon red chile flakes to each jar.
Be warned, because Brussels sprouts are brassicas, they will be a little bit stinky when you open the jar. There's nothing wrong, it's just their natural fragrance.
Editor’s note: The recipe below includes instructions for canning the pickles in a water bath. Safe canning guidelines vary by altitude. If you plan to can your pickled Brussels sprouts, please confirm canning recommendations for your altitude from the National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP) or your local state university’s NCHFP Extension program.
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon pickling salt
20 peppercorns, divided
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, divided
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
Trim the sprouts and cut them in half. Set aside.
Combine vinegar, water, and salt in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil.
Divide the peppercorns, mustard seeds, garlic cloves, and bay leaves between 2 prepared pint jars.
Pack sprouts into jars and cover in brine, leaving 1-inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid.
Use a wooden chopstick to remove air bubbles from jars.
Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
When time is up, remove jars from canner and let cool on a folded towel.
Boiling water bath, pint jars
Make-Ahead and Storage
When jars are cool, test seals. If seals are good, jars can be stored in pantry (any unsealed jars should be refrigerated). Give pickles at least 48 hours before you eat them, so that the brine fully penetrates the veg. Sealed jars will keep up to 1 year on the pantry shelf.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 3g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 18mg||89%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|