Marisa McClellan, blogger, canner and preserver extraordinaire, shared her tips on canning with us last Friday. She was also kind enough to share an awesome recipe for pickled okra! This easy, healthy, and somewhat unusual way to serve okra appears in her cookbook, Food in Jars.
Makes 4 (1-pint/500 ml) jars
3 cups/720 ml apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons pickling salt
4 lemon slices
4 tablespoons Mixed Pickling Spice (page 118), divided
2 pounds/910 g okra, washed and trimmed
4 garlic cloves, peeled
- Prepare a boiling water bath and 4 regular-mouth 1-pint/500 ml jars according to the process on page 000. Place the lids in a small saucepan, cover them with water, and simmer over very low heat.
- Combine the vinegar, 3 cups/720 ml water, and pickling salt in a pot and bring the brine to a boil.
- Meanwhile, put a lemon slice and 1 tablespoon pickling spice in the bottom of each sterilized jar. Then pack the okra in, first laying them in so that the points are up. Then insert another layer with the points down, so that they interlock. Nestle 1 garlic clove among the okra in each jar.
- Slowly pour the hot brine over the okra in each jar, leaving 1/2 inch/12 mm headspace. Gently tap the jars on a towel-lined countertop to help loosen any bubbles before using a wooden chopstick to dislodge any remaining bubbles. Check the headspace again and add more brine if necessary.
- Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes (see page 10).
- Let these pickles cure for at least 1 week before eating.
Note: You’ll find that this recipe calls for you to make more brine than many of the other similarly scaled recipes. Because okra pods are hollow, they will absorb a great deal of the brine. When you’ve finished filling and bubbling all the jars, they will invariably require topping off. What’s more, the brine level will drop radically after you remove the jars from the canner: Do not be alarmed. The brine has simply migrated inside the okra pods. There is no need to remove the lids to top off the liquid; as long as the seal is good, they are safe to store and eat.
Recipe from Food in Jars: Preserving In Small Batches Year Round, copyright © Marisa McClellan, 2012. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Running Press. Available wherever books are sold.