This post comes to us from Delilah Snell of The Road Less Traveled, an eco-living store in Santa Ana. Delilah and Evan have teamed up on several occasions to teach canning classes.  Delilah is a Master Preserver who gives lessons at her home in Orange County.  She’s on Good Food this week to answer your questions about pickles.

I love me some mustard—the sour-tangy goodness is one of my favorite condiments that I can never get enough of and it seems we are constantly replenishing our supply in our apartment homestead. Mustard powder is a staple in my pantry that’s a mandatory flavor agent for dressing. This is what I love most about preserving: incorporating my faves (mustard in this situation) and mixing it with other favorite veggies to add to my ever-growing arsenal.

This recipe is something that I usually pour over cold veggies and put right in the fridge—I usually want to eat them right away!  However, I have also included processing times if you wish to “put up” the pickles and enjoy later (NOTE: if you can the pickles, wait about 2-3 weeks so that the pickles can cure properly).

Delilah’s Hot Mustard Pickles
(makes around 4 pints of pickles)

4 pints of a mixture of sliced organic cukes, onions, green beans, carrots, or cauliflower pieces
(this part is really up to you, if you like more onions and less cukes, then go ahead and do that)

2 c cider vinegar
1 c water
2 tbsp pickling salt
1-2 tbsp agave nectar (regular sugar is fine too)
1 Tablespoon mustard powder
4 tsp mustard seed (I like the way red seeds look)
1/2 Tablespoon celery seeds
4 long dried red peppers
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp chili flakes (optional-I LOVE the heat so i do this)

Wash, inspect and prep you veggies.
In a non-reactive pot (stainless steel), combine all of your liquid ingredients, salt, sugar/agave celery seeds and whisk in mustard powder. boil for 5 min.
Turn down heat and add veggies, simmer for a few minutes and make sure everything is well mixed.
Prepare jars and lids.  To each jar, add 1 pepper, 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp mustard seed and chili flakes.
With tongs, fill each jar with 1″ headspace. Cover veggies with brine still keeping the 1″ headspace.
Secure lids and rings and process in a hot water bath for 10 min.

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