It’s spring time, (well, almost) and it’s pea time!
Canned peas always seem to be mushy to me, so I haven’t ever wanted to put them up. But when fresh shelled peas start showing up at farmer’s market or my garden, or even Costco, I get the urge to try finding a way to add them to my pantry.
Because peas are low acid, regular processing would mean using a pressure canner, and mushy peas. But pickling them means that processing time is significantly shorter. The peas are preserved in an acidic brine, and they even stay somewhat crisp.
Relying mainly on my Dilly Bean Recipe, I made a hot brine:
6 tablespoons pickling salt
3 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
Bring this to a boil, get your jars hot and sterilized, and blanch your peas in a strainer briefly to kill any surface bacteria.
Into each sterilized half-pint jar (get 10 ready) add 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1/4 teaspoon dill seed (optional).
Then, pour in drained peas.
Pour over hot brine, leaving a 1/2 inch of headspace.
Process for 15 minutes in hot water bath. The pickling brine should contain enough acid to keep everything safe.
Makes about 10 half pint jars from 4 – 5 pounds of peas.
Pour pickled peas on fresh spring greens, or mix in bean salads or anywhere you just want a tiny pickle that packs a punch!