All-Purpose Quick Pickle Brine

by Maggie Battista on August 4, 2014

in Appetizers, Condiments, Featured, Food Gift Love, Food Gifts, Garden, Vegetables


Let’s be quick about this because you have way better things to do than sit inside pickling over a steaming stove all summer.

On Saturday, my darling Italian neighbor gave me peppers, cucumbers and parsley from her garden. My garden is suffering, big time, so I got a little glassy-eyed when she handed me her harvest. (sniff, sniff) I thanked her immediately with a jar of orange marmalade but promised to hand-deliver my homemade ricotta because marmalade and ricotta are a pretty stellar combination.

I sliced up the banana peppers for this very quick pickle but, honestly, felt they were too special to linger in the back of my fridge. I knew they’d be fairly delicious on some homemade labneh, a cheese made from strained yogurt. I set up a sieve lined with cheese cloth and filled it with seasoned Greek yogurt (sea salt, garlic, paprika). I ignored it for 24 hours.

The next morning, I made homemade pita, a five-ingredient recipe that requires just a bit of planning, especially if you want it for breakfast or brunch. It’s a simple combination of yeast and warm water mixed with flour, olive oil, and sea salt. After mixing and then kneading on a well-floured surface, the dough is placed into a well-oiled bowl and covered with a dish towel for a one-hour rest and I take a my own sorta rest with a big cup of coffee and a doughnut.

While I pan-fry the pita, I also got my homemade ricotta going. That’s even easier than the pita, with just three ingredients – whole milk, lemon juice and sea salt. While the ricotta sets up, we ate homemade pitas with labneh, herbs (including the parsley), scallions and pickled peppers. I carted the peppers and ricotta down to my neighbor and called it a food-gift-filled weekend.

You can use the following brine for any and all vegetables. I often add herbs like oregano or peppercorns or chilis to the pot to increase the flavor factor, though it’s not necessary. Just go with whatever you have on hand. If you’re short on time, then consider ordering these delicious preserved items I’ve tasted and loved: Pickled Pear Tomatoes; Pickled Padron Peppers; and Triple Ale Onion Spread.

All-Purpose Quick Pickle Brine


  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 3 cups vegetables, cleaned and sliced


  1. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, add the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Remove from the heat and add your vegetables. Let cool for 15 minutes. Add vegetables and brine to a sterilized jar, seal and store in the fridge for up to 2 months.

weekend PNG

Photos taken and styled by Maggie Battista.

Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers and shares our version of #foodgiftlove. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop. You can also follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagramTumblr and Pinterest.

Maggie Battista

Founder at Eat Boutique
Maggie, is the founder of Eat Boutique. She started Eat Boutique as a blog in 2007, and sold out of her first gift box of small batch independent food in 2009. Maggie continues to offer unique and delicious handmade food in tasting subscriptions and seasonal gift boxes for food fans and home cooks. Maggie also hosts Eat Boutique Markets, where she spotlights cookbook authors and food makers. She’s written for Style Me Pretty, Food52, Time Out New York, Spencer Magazine, and writes a cocktail column for the popular wedding blog, Snippet & Ink. Maggie's also created retail experiences for the largest floral and event design company in New England. She regularly travels far distances to find the next great chef, farmer, food maker or host. You can follow her worldwide – and homemade – gastronomic adventures on Twitter at @mizmaggieb or @eatboutique. Maggie's first-ever cookbook Food Gift Love will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October 2015. You may pre-order now.

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