8 Surprising Foods You Could Be Pickling Even Though Summer Is Over

published Oct 20, 2015
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Pickling is fresh in our minds by the time we hit the end of summer and want to preserve the season’s produce as long as possible. We reach for the obvious: cucumbers; peppers; onions; and hard vegetables, like cauliflower, carrots, and beets. But even as summer gives way to fall, there are a surprising amount of other foods you can (and should) pickle.

1. Grapes

Once pickled, grapes are transformed from sweet to crisp and deeply spiced. Use them as a cocktail garnish or eat them straight from the jar, alongside cheese, or with roasted meats.

2. Avocado

Move over, avocado toast — tangy pickled avocado just might have you beat. A tangy brine will preserve these soft fruits even longer. Enjoy them straight from the jar; as is for a snack; or on top of salads, sandwiches, and tacos.

3. Potatoes

We’ve pickled other root vegetables, like carrots and turnips, so it only makes sense that potatoes should also get preserved in a vinegary brine. Potatoes are an especially attractive candidate for pickling because they soak up the flavor of the brine so well. Eat them on their own, as a side dish, and in salads.

4. Pineapple

I’ve never considered pickling this sweet fruit before, but now that it’s on my mind, it feels so obvious. Tangy pickled pineapple makes an ideal complement to spicy dishes; it pairs well with Asian recipes and also makes a great taco topping.

5. Figs

When it comes to preserving figs, jam always feels like the obvious choice, but we also love pickling them. Eat these preserved fruits straight from the jar, or serve along with cheese and meat as an appetizer.

6. Brussels Sprouts

We love them roasted, shredded, chopped into salads, and eaten as chips, but it’s also worth pickling these seasonal brassicas. If you like pickled cabbage, these zingy sprouts will be right up your alley.

7. Pumpkin

Here’s a great way to preserve this fall favorite and fill it with flavor. Everything from ginger and cinnamon to spice and curry. Use pickled pumpkin on crostini or crackers as an appetizer or snack.

8. Cranberries

These tiny red beauties are easily found fresh from late fall through winter; their short season is even more reason to pickle them. Try something new this Thanksgiving and serve these tangy berries to your guests!

What are your favorite fall and winter fruits and veggies to pickle?

This post was requested by SunnyPatioProject for Reader Request Week 2015.