you can pickle anything!

my mom loves coffee; she drinks it all the time, even late at night before bed. i have this really distinct memory of being four years old, and us drinking from matching coffee cups. in hers — folgers. in mine — pickle juice. i guess the point of that, is there’s a special place in my heart for pickles.

a couple weeks ago, steven and i took a day trip to the new river gorge in west virginia to go zip lining. it was a lot of fun and it’s so beautiful there, but in true chef fashion i think he was most concerned with what we’d be having for lunch. after much googling and pressure from a control freak friend (hi, bill!) we settled on gumbos cajun restaurant. i had a fried crawfish po’ boy with the most delicious pickled okra on the side! i mean, this okra seriously tasted like a dill pickle. i ate mine and his. i guess it may be a no brainer to some people, but it was an epiphany to me: you can pickle anything.

i didn’t believe him at first, but trust me… these pickled brussels are worth the wait!


they’re also pretty fun to make. the amount of ingredients vary depending on how many jars you want to make.

you’ll need:
mason jars & enough brussels to fill them up
white vinegar
chilis de arbol
bay leaves


now split the ingredients in each mason jar:
1 chili
2 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
15ish peppercorns
a pinch of dill
a pinch of thyme


fill the jars up the rest of the way with the brussels.


for the liquid, here are directions per mason jar:
bring to a boil 1/2 cup vinegar & 1 cup water
2 tablespoons salt & 1 tablespoon sugar
(multiply by however many jars you’re making)
then pour the piping hot mixture into the jar


now, we can these bad boys! put the lids on the jars and put the jars in a pot of boiling water. make sure your hands are as clean as possible — you don’t want to can germs. let the jars boil for at least 10 minutes.


for the final step, we’ll borrow a line from tom petty, “the waiting is the hardest part.” maybe he was pickling brussels, too!

wait a week or two, and voilà!



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he's a culinary institute of america grad in medical school. she's a journalist, who prior to their meeting, used the oven solely for storage.

5 thoughts on “you can pickle anything!”

  1. That looks divine! Stupid question because I’ve never canned. So, you just boil those jars? Do you not need a lid on top of the pot in which you are boiling? See, I should have paid attention to my grandmother when she was canning, but I seem to remember that her “canner” was a big pot with a lid that for some reason I thought could blow the roof off at any moment. Probably why I avoided canning – not fond of explosions!

    1. woah, latest reply ever. but no – you don’t need a “canner”. the water in the pot just has to be over the lid of the jars. i was so shocked at how easy it is. the hardest part for me is not touching the lids (nobody wants my canned germs in their pickes or preserves. think: botulism. yuck!) 😉

  2. Let me get this straight: the jars are totally submerged in the boiling water, is that right? Also, where do I find chilis de arbol? I love pickled brussels sprouts, so I definitely want to try this.Great to see you guys today.

    1. jars are totally submerged. chilis de arbol is pretentious steven speak for whatever kind of dried hot peppers you have/can find at the grocery; but i’d bet they have them at gucci kroger.

      if you try it, let me know how it turns out! great seeing you, too. hope your mom likes her books 🙂

      1. you know what: upon reflection (and a quick google search) the jar does not have to be submerged. the huge pot we usually use for canning does submerge mason jars, but clearly the one in the pictures up there didn’t. i can’t remember; but i think we used that specific pot just for the picture. anyway: you should be good if you get the water to the shoulder of the jar.

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