Pickles in cupcakes? This line came from my favorite children’s book of all times, Warthogs in the Kitchen. This book teaches math and generates interest in cooking for children by having sloppy fun with warthogs in a kitchen. I read it many times to my son and contemplated this idea while creating this article! (Now updated with the idea turning to a real creation!)
Cheryl Koehler, Publisher and Founder of Edible East Bay Magazine, loves quick pickles. She felt that we should create a collaborative project to help folks enjoy these delights now that spring gardens are producing colorful vegetables that lend themselves to this process. Most people in the Bay Area are sheltering in place through May so they are anxious to try new recipes. What a great idea!
Quick pickles are easy to make because they only require a glass container, vinegar, and fresh veggies. No need for long canning times or the use of a lot of salt.
We actually got so many emails about pickles in cupcakes that I created some and added them to this story. Here is a delicious red velvet cupcake that I made with beet pickles! It is an easy-to-make treat! I have always made red velvet cake with beets to avoid using red food color and I do add vinegar to it so why not make things easy and just throw in beet pickles? The cream cheese frosting is made with little sugar and topped with red sugar crystals and dried organic beet powder. Check out Edible East Bay for the updated ebook with this recipe. Update: This project was featured by Suzanne Sease, The Art of the Personal Project.
Cheryl made my asparagus pickles and decided they would go great with her authentic personally Italian-sourced recipe for Risotto Lemonato, the most delicious risotto recipe in the world! It uses brandy, lemon, fresh peas, and she garnishes it with these crispy pickles. This recipe was also added to our pickle book and I was lucky enough to get the recipe and make the photo for this wonderful creation.
I created ten different kinds of pickles using a master brine solution, glass jars, and these fantastic flavor combinations:
- Carrot Ginger – use quartered, peeled carrots, and fresh sliced ginger. Eat these as snacks or make a little tapas appetizer plate as we show below.
- Asparagus Basil – use the spears of the asparagus with fresh basil leaves. Serve this as a chilled salad or side dish.
- Salsa – use halved cherry tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, and a little chopped cabbage. Use this as pico de Gallo for tacos and burritos.
- Cabbage Hot Pepper (for city tacos!) – slice the cabbage and marinate with rings of hot peppers. You can drain and use this masterpiece to top city tacos or fish tacos. It is also delicious on a sandwich.
- Beets – slice the beets very thin. Add a little red wine or use red wine vinegar for the marinade. These make a great side dish with any dinner.
- Garam Masala Cucumber – use freshly sliced cucumbers and 1 tablespoon of garam masala whole spices. We served these over ice cream, in drinks, on salads, in sandwiches, and as a garnish for many meals.
- Mushrooms and Thyme – use quartered mushrooms and fresh sprigs of thyme. These pair well with a roasted dinner.
- Cauliflower – remove the florets from the head of cauliflower and marinate them in the basic liquid plus black pepper, fresh oregano, and garlic powder. Add a little lemon zest. Serve as a chilled salad.
- Berry Chutney – use a mix of apples, berries, onions, and cinnamon. Add a little grated orange, too. These go very well with yogurt or over roasted poultry.
- Cabernet Red Onion – peel small red onions. Top with the marinade and then add a little cabernet sauvignon or other red wine. These make great appetizers with nuts and cheese.
Visit edibleeastbay.com for the ebook with all of the recipes and serving ideas.