Pickled Okra and Chard

Our okra crop is coming in strong so Ray and I decided to see if we liked it pickled. Ray likes it fried, but I think we will have so much that we need to find a way to preserve it so we don’t get tired of fried okra.

Enter Pickled Chard and Okra. We did only one pint jar instead of the four the recipe below calls for in case we don’t care for it.

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1 1/2 pounds of fresh okra (3 1/2 to 4 inches long)
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups cider vinegar
Fresh chard, 5-6 leaves, stems only
1 seeded and chopped jalapeno
2 cups water
3 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp sugar

Pickling spices:
2 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fresh dill
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Equipment needed:
4 pint canning jars, lids, and screw bands.
A large (at least 16 qt) pot for canning

Sterilize jars and lids by placing them in the canning pot on a rack or a cloth. The glass may crack if it is placed directly on the bottom of the pot. Fill the pot with water to the rim of the jars. Bring to a boil and let go 10 minutes. Pour boiling water over the lids to sterilize.

Combine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil to dissolve the salt and sugar. Reduce heat and keep warm.

Prepare the okra and the spices. Rinse the okra and trim the stem ends to 1/4-inch. We actually diced the okra here, but it was only because I did not fully read the directions. 🙂

Place all pickling spices in a small bowl and stir to combine.

Lay out a clean towel on your counter. Use canning tongs to remove the jars from the boiling water, emptying the water from the jars. Place the hot, sterilized jars on the towel on your counter to help prevent them from getting shocked by a cold counter surface and potentially cracking. Put a tablespoon of the mixed pickling spices to each jar. Place a peeled garlic clove on top.

Add the okra, chard and jalapeno to the jars. The top of the okra should come between an inch to 1/2 an inch from the rim of the jar.

Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the jars, up to 1/4-inch from the rim of the jars. Remove any air bubbles using a knife or any utensil. If the top level of the pickling liquid lowers while you do this, just top off with more of the pickling liquid. If for any reason you don’t have enough pickling liquid for all the jars, just add equal amounts of cider vinegar and water. No need to heat first, the liquid will get boiled in the hot water bath.

Wipe the rims with a clean damp towel. Place sterilized lids on jars. Screw on the the lids, firmly, but not too tight.

Put packed jars back in the hot water pot, some water will be displaced. Allow for 1 to 2 inches of water to cover the jars, remove excess water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove to towel lined counter or to a rack.

As the jars cool, you should hear a popping sound as the vacuum created by the cooling air in the jars pulls the lid down and seals the jars. A properly sealed jar can last in a cool dry place for about a year. If any jars do not seal, store them chilled in the refrigerator. Opened jars should last one to two months in the refrigerator.

Let sit 24 hours before eating.



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