Pickles punch up the flavor factor and make great gifts

5 Recipes
A demonstration on how to make Asian bread and butter pickles.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Five pickle recipes to make right now.


Pickles are an excellent way to amp up the flavor and texture of just about anything. With a satisfying crunch, they add tang and zest wherever they go. Chefs all over town make them and you can too, if for no other reason than to use what’s left of your recent farmers market finds.

Nestle Jeremy Fox’s garlicky, sour sliced pickled cucumbers or Min Phan’s milder and sweeter bread-and-butter pickles into burgers and sandwiches — or serve them cut in spears alongside, so the eater can decide which bites get the extra zip. Pickled jalapeños and carrots are a classic taco topping, as are pickled onions. Chef Claudette Zapeta makes verduras encurtidas with root vegetables and whatever other vegetables and parts thereof she has lying around. Carrots, radishes, cauliflower, kohlrabi, potatoes, broccoli stems — all go into the pickle jar and come out with new flavor and spunk.

For all they contribute, as you will see in these recipes, pickles are surprisingly easy to make, and they keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. They enhance salads, rice bowls, all kinds of sandwiches and, well, as I said, just about anything.

Jeremy Fox's Sliced Kirby Pickles

Birdie G's chef Jeremy Fox shares his recipe for pickled cucumbers from his cookbook "On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen."
Time1 hour plus chilling
YieldsMakes about 4 pint jars

Minh Phan's bread-and-butter pickles

Porridge + Puffs chef Minh Phan shares her recipe for bread-and-butter pickles
Time1 hour, plus chilling
Yields2 pint jars

Verduras Encurtidas

These pickled vegetables are a little spicy from jalapeños and chiles de arbol.
Time1 hour 30 minutes, plus overnight pickling
YieldsMakes 4 pint jars

Pickled Jalapeños

Taqueria-style pickled jalapeños with onion, garlic and carrot are easy to make at home.
Time30 minutes
YieldsMakes 1 pint jar

Quick Pickled Onions

Pickling your own onions is quicker than you might think, and they last for weeks.
Time15 minutes
YieldsMakes 4 cups