Firm, underripe avocados used to be something I avoided at all costs. I was in it for the instant gratification of a soft, creamy avocado that could be instantly split open and spread on toast. That all changed the day I discovered avocado pickles. While I once scoffed at a bin filled to the brim with hard avocados, these are the very ones I now happily load in my basket to bring home because there's something just as delectable to do with them.
Avocado Pickles Need Extra-Firm Avocados
You see, avocado pickles require firm, underripe avocados — the very ones we often leave behind for their more tender counterparts. But when it comes to pickling, firm avocados are the best choice.
Remember This Tip: Use This Simple Trick to Determine Whether an Avocado Is Ripe Inside
These aren't the kind of pickles that are meant for long-term storage. While it's best to give them a couple hours to soak, feel free to dig in after an hour has passed. By then, you'll notice that the once-firm avocado pieces have softened to take on a more tender texture and have soaked up just enough tangy brine to make them quite flavorful.
How to Use Avocado Pickles
When it comes to prepping the avocados, the way you cut them is totally up to you. Think about how you might like to use them. Long slices are perfect for eating out of hand or adding to burgers and sandwiches, while cubes work as a nice topping for salads, tacos, and a piece of fish. And if you don't have a plan, that's okay too — just make sure the pickles will fit in whatever jar you choose to use.
1 cup distilled white vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Optional flavoring ingredients:
Place the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and any additional flavoring ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare the avocados. Peel and pit the avocados, then cut into 1/2-inch-wide slices or cubes. Place them in 2 (18-ounce or larger) canning jars. Pour the cooled brining liquid into the jars, completely covering the avocado pieces, and seal the jars. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Storage: Store pickled avocados in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Food styling by Ryan Reineck