Now that I’m Adulting For Real ™, I want to bring something thoughtful, healthy, and homemade to potlucks. And because I live in a diverse city where people are very mindful of what they put into their bodies, I wanted a go-to dish that’s vegan, gluten-free, low-carb, low-calorie, and low in sugar.
I’m also lazy and forgetful.
This pickled okra recipe yields 3 12-oz mason jars, which is the perfect amount for warm weather social gatherings. I brought these to a post-primary/pre-SXSW potluck that my boss organized.
For this potluck, we pickled cucumbers, slices of daikon radish, whole okra spears, and cocktail onions. In the past, we’ve pickled slices of fresh jalapenos. Next up on the list: green beans, matchstick carrots, and avocado slices.
You’ll just need a few things for this really quick recipe.
The dry ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon Peppercorns (the more colorful, the better!)
- 3 teaspoons Dill. Use fresh if you can, but we used the dill weed from the bulk spice section of HEB and it worked great. We’ve also achieved good results with McCormick’s in the jar.
- 3 teaspoons salt. Sea salt or kosher salt are ideal.
- Optional: ½ teaspoon red pepper flake. Leave these out if you don’t want spicy pickles
For the jars:
- About 1 lb (16 oz) fresh okra spears
- 3-4 cloves crushed garlic
- 1.5 cups water
- 1.5 cups white vinegar
Gently pack the okra into 12-oz mason jars. You can fit more okra spears into the jar if you tilt it. But be careful not to crush or bruise the spears – they won’t come out right if they’re bruised.
Add the dry ingredients to a small bowl and combine with a fork.
Add 1.5 cups of water and 1.5 cups of white vinegar to your pot. Turn the burner to medium-high heat and pour the dry ingredients into the pot.
Bring to a boil and stir. Stirring will help the salt dissolve. Remove the pot from the heat once the brine starts to bubble consistently.
Pour the brine into the jar with the okra and the crushed garlic. You’ll want to cover the okra, but don’t fill the neck of the jar. Secure the lid on each jar.
Super Important: Let the sealed jars sit on the counter for about an hour, or until cool to the touch, before refrigerating. Sticking hot jars in the fridge will cause the glass to break.
Let the pickles chill in the fridge for 10 days. They’ll stay fresh in the fridge for 6-8 months.
That’s it! Reach for your pickles next time you need to wow your friends at a potluck, eat something probiotic, spice up your Sludgie, add a cool crunch to your salad, or just do the pickle dance from The Little Rascals.
The brine is going to be pretty much the same – only this time, we’re using 2 cups each of water and vinegar. Start with 10 pickling cucumbers cut into spears, which will yield 4 12-oz jars.
The dry ingredients:
- 4 tsp. dill
- 2 tbs. sea salt
- 4 garlic cloves/jar
- 3.5 tsp. peppercorns
- Optional: 2 tsp. red pepper flake
Put the cucumber spears and garlic into the jar.
Add the dry ingredients to a small glass bowl.
Pour the dry ingredients into the pot with water and vinegar. Heat until just boiling and stir. Then add the hot brine to the jars with pickles and garlic.
Make sure the jars are cool to the touch before refrigerating!
In 10 days, you’ll have fresh, delicious pickles!
Bonus: Undressed Summer Salad
This salad rocks because it’s fast, easy, and doesn’t need dressing. The flavor comes from the ingredients. You can play with how much of each ingredient you want, so measuring isn’t really a concern here.
- Chopped romaine
- Pico de gallo
- Sliced avocado
- Frozen sweet corn
- Himalayan pink salt
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
Let the corn thaw on the counter for 30-45 minutes. Or if you’re in a hurry to leave and you’ll be on the road for awhile, leave the corn frozen-ish and let it keep the rest of the salad cool on the drive. That’s the beauty of an undressed summer salad – unlike most of us, it has chill.