Any season is a good season to make your own pickles, because we can find Ontario Greenhouse grown peppers and cucumbers through all four seasons of the year! We love adding home-made pickles to sandwiches, burgers and with cheese platters. Your family and friends would also love these as a gift. Not only is it personal and thoughtful, it is delicious!
Chef Jonathan Collins
Makes 4 1L jars of pickle
- 3 cups (750 mL) White Vinegar
- 5 cups (1250 mL) Still Water
- 4 Whole Star Anise
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) Whole Coriander Seed
- 2 tsp (10 mL) Whole Dill Seed
- 2 tsp (10 mL) Whole Mustard Seed
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) White Granulated Sugar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) Flaked or Coarse sea salt, KosherSalt or pickling salt
- OPTIONAL: ½ tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- 4 Ontario Greenhouse Red Bell Peppers – trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
- 4 Ontario Greenhouse Yellow Bell Peppers – trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
- 4 Ontario Greenhouse Orange Bell Peppers – trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
- 4 Garlic Cloves – trimmed and peeled
- 4 Bay Leaves
- 4 sprigs of fresh oregano
- 8 Ontario greenhouse cucumbers
- 4 sprigs of fresh dill
- Combine vinegar, water, star anise, coriander seed, dill seed, mustard seed, sugar, salt, and pepper in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer.
- Fill a large stockpot ¾ full of water, bring to boil, add canning jars, lids, and tools, boil for 10 minutes.
- Remove jars with sterilized utensils, careful not to touch any surfaces.
- FOR PEPPERS: Add peppers, 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove and 1 sprig of oregano to each jar.
- FOR CUCUMBERS: You can fit approx. 2 prepared cucumbers inside a 1L mason jar. Add the fresh sprig of dill (and 1 garlic clove if desired) per jar.
- Pack in quite tightly but leave room at the top of the jar; approx. 1/2 inch. See the video for more guidance!
- Pour pickling liquid to cover, fill jar leaving the neck open.
- Place lid and screw cap gently on top using utensils, screw lid on snug but not too tight.
- Return the jars to the stockpot, boil for 10 minutes, remove and set on cooling rack.
- Confirm that the peppers have sealed by checking to make sure the lid is concave, firmly tighten the lid. Do not open the jar at all until you plan to use the pickles.
Here are a few more tips for the perfect pickles!
- Be sure to use fresh ingredients when you are pickling and clean your produce before use.
- Do not use recycled commercial jars or old-style home-canning jars. Instead buy mason jars specifically for preserves.
- Although you can reuse mason jars, we recommend that you use new jar lids for a secure seal.
- Pickling is a process that has been used for many, many years. Although well preserved food can be kept for years, we’d recommend that you consume your pickles within about 12 months.
- Be sure to label your pickles to remember what is inside! Use pretty labels or tags if you are going to give them as gifts.
- If your jar does not seal properly (the lid still “pops” after boiling), it is not wasted. Instead, you will have to keep this jar in the fridge. We’d recommend you eat this jar within 4 weeks.
Have you always been worried about how to make your own preserves at home? Watch our Chef prepare this in The Kitchen Life video!
A passionate chef and father who loves to share his experiences in cuisine and life, Chef Jonathan Collins has cooked for presidents, prime ministers, billionaires, celebrities and even royalty! A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Jonathan has developed a signature style by blending North American, European and Asian influences with a French foundation and distinct Canadian identity, emphasizing fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. Learn more about him at collinscuisine.com or watch his Produce Made Simple cooking shows on our YouTube!