I was so excited to film this episode because this is one of my favorite recipes from growing up. Toursi is pickled vegetables that are usually made and stored in large glass jars. In Greece you find these jars in every household because people make toursi as a way of preserving the bounty from their gardens. Today I’m making this using cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, celery, garlic, onions, and peppers. However, this method is very adaptable, feel free to use whatever vegetable you’d like to preserve.
Pickling vegetables in vinegar as a way of preserving them is not a new idea. There are all kinds of pickling methods out there and today I’m sharing the one I was taught by my mother. I distinctly remember her having these in our pantry when I was young and serving them on a plate at dinner time almost every evening. They are a great alternative to salad or can be a tasty addition to any salad you’re composing.
The most time-consuming part of this recipe is blanching the vegetables. This is an essential step because it tenderizes the vegetables so they are just the right texture when you eat them. Blanching them also makes them slightly more absorbent so they really soak up the pickling juice with all the flavors. Some people like to add a little red pepper or hot peppers to their toursi to make them spicy – it really is up to you!
Fill the jars to the top with your pickling juice when you make this. You want as little air in the jar as possible. This is what truly preserves them until you eat them.
This is a great recipe to use any time of year, but make sure you have it handy when you go to the farmer’s market in the summer. Toursi is a great way to preserve all the delicious fresh vegetables you find there. Enjoy this traditional Greek recipe, and please leave a comment if you have any questions!
Toursi | Pickled Vegetables
In Greece people often pickle vegetables as a way of preserving all the bounty from their gardens. These days I’ll buy the vegetables at the store but I still make it a lot so we always have it on hand. The exact amount this recipe makes always depends a little bit on the volume of vegetables we use. It’s worth having an extra small jar available in case you have extra!
4 quarts (we use 4 1-quart jars)
3 celery stalks
4 large carrots, peeled
3 cups mini red and yellow sweet peppers
1 whole medium size cauliflower
3 cups button mushrooms
8 pearl onions (2 per jar)
½ bunch of parsley, coarsely chopped
8 whole garlic cloves (2 per jar)
3 TBSP kosher Salt
1 TBSP granulated sugar
1 ½ cups white Vinegar
1 TBSP peppercorns
Clean the vegetables and prepare them as follows:
Cut the celery on an angle into ½-inch thick pieces
Cut the carrots into rounds that are 1-inch thick
Remove the stem from the sweet peppers
Peel and trim the tops and bottoms of the onions
Cut the cauliflower into florets
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the prepared vegetables, one type of vegetable at a time, leaving the mushrooms for last. Each vegetable should be slightly tender once it is blanched. This allows it to absorb the pickling juice better.
To blanch them: add the vegetables to the boiling water and allow them to boil 3-5 minutes, remove them from the water and allow them to drain. Be sure to blanch the mushrooms last because they will make the blanching water a little dirty.
Once all the vegetables have been blanched and dried, add them to a large bowl together. Then add the chopped parsley to the bowl of vegetables.
In saucepan on the stovetop add 5 cups of water, 1 ½ cup white vinegar, the salt and sugar and warm the mixture over medium heat to dissolve the sugar.
Fill jars with even amounts of the vegetables, including two onions per jar and two cloves of garlic per jar.
Pour enough of the water mixture into each jar to fill it to the very top.
Screw the lids onto the top of each jar and turn the jar upside down to make sure there is enough liquid in each jar. Add more liquid as needed.
Store the jars in your pantry upside down until you open them. Once they’ve been opened store in them in the refrigerator.
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