Lately I been craving cold vegetables. Remember “salad mix”? Cauliflower, red bell peppers and carrots, in a spicy blend of vinegar and hot peppers. I remember it came in a glass jar made to look like an old barrel, my mom saved the jars for storage containers. I didn’t think much of it as a kid, but you know how your tastes change.
Vinegar is good for you. One nice thing it does is make raw vegetables easier to digest. I add sugar and salt, and it tastes pretty good too. I call these “refrigerator pickles,” because they won’t keep on the shelf like regular pickles, but they’re a lot easier to make and will last a couple of weeks in the fridge. But you’ll probably eat them faster than that. I use cucumbers, bell peppers, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower – whatever. It makes a great snack, or you can use it to garnish your salad.
First I wash and break the vegies into bite size pieces, a couple of cups worth, then toss them with a tablespoon of salt. This sits for an hour in a bowl with a plate over it. Meanwhile I heat 3/4 cup of vinegar on the stove, and as soon as it comes to a boil, I stir in 1/3 cup of white sugar.
By the time the vegies have sat for an hour, the vinegar/sugar mixture is cooled off. I use a strainer spoon to take the vegies out of the bowl (the salt makes them “sweat off” a lot of moisture) and put them into an old peanut butter jar, then pour the vinegar/sugar over them. It won’t cover the entire batch, so I put the lid on good and tight, and turn the jar over a few times, get everything marinated good. After a couple of hours in the fridge, it will be ready to eat.
It would look so much prettier with some red peppers, but still tastes great. Another dish you can make ahead, pretty easy, and have in the fridge for those hot days ahead.