While visiting my in-laws in Wisconsin over the weekend, we took a trip to an Amish grocery store, which featured an entire aisle of pickled foods. As soon as I saw the Brussel sprouts, my eyes popped out of my head and I heard that pesky inner voice say, I cannot believe you never thought of that, you a**hole.
Brussel sprouts are ideal for pickling because they’re nice and dense, which means they’ll stand up to the power of vinegar, which will break down softer foods into mush. Additionally, Brussel sprouts pair perfectly with vinegar because it’s strong enough to stand up to their inherent bitterness. Last but not least, Brussel’s are so darned healthy that having another way to enjoy them just makes good sense, and these pickled sprouts are perfect for just popping into your mouth as a snack. We enjoyed them alongside some pub cheese and cut raw vegetables.
Pickled Brussel Sprouts:
1# Brussel sprouts, bottoms trimmed and outer leaves removed if necessary
2 C. apple cider vinegar (mild flavored)
2 Tbsp. sherry or balsamic vinegar (strong flavored)
2 C. water
10 mixed peppercorns (I used pink and white)
¼ tsp. fennel seed
¼ tsp. whole coriander
¼ tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. salt
several sprigs fresh thyme
several stems fresh dill
Combine all of the ingredients except the Brussel sprouts in a large pot with a lid, cover, and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has boiled, turn off the heat and allow the flavors to infuse for 30 minutes. Now is a good time to trim and wash your sprouts.
After the initial infusing, turn the heat back on and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Carefully add the Brussel sprouts, being careful not to put your face over the simmering vinegar. Cover and allow the sprouts to simmer for 5-10 minutes, depending on their size (my sprouts were quite small, so five minutes was ample). Uncover the mixture carefully (again, beware the steaming vinegar), and stir. Cover once again and allow to sit in the hot liquid for about 60 minutes, or until cool enough to transfer to mason jars along with all of the liquid and flavorings. Two pint jars or one quart should work perfectly. I removed the dill at this time and added fresh for extra dilly-ness.
Transfer to the fridge to cool. If you can stand it, allow them to sit for a few days to let the flavors come together. The pickled sprouts will last up to two weeks.