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How to Pickle Veggies at Home - A Willigan's Island Recipe

The recipe was previously published in a Kettle & Brine article earlier this year. 

Former New Orleans resident Will Rhodes saw a need for making Bloody Mary's in Austin truly exceptional. Adding the NOLA-style pickled green bean was imperative. He turned the need into a business in 2015 and it paid off, as the Willigan's Island company has grown five times since its inception year. The delightful pickled veggies pack a little kick—they're a combination of NOLA meets Texas after all.

You can pick up Willigan's Island treats at your local Breed & Co, but in the spirit of holiday feasting, here's a recipe by the very own Will Rhodes.

1. BUY FRESH VEGETABLES 

Rhodes uses green beans and okra from local farms outside of San Antonio and Taft, Texas.

2. MAKE A BRINE

Rhodes' brine is equal parts water, salt and vinegar (white, apple cider, white wine, and rice vinegars work well).  Don't be afraid to experiment with brine ingredients. And for an extra kick, add a little fire. Rhodes adds garlic and red pepper flakes to his mix. 

3. ASSEMBLE THE JARS

Wash and dry the jars. Then, pack in clean vegetables as tightly as you can. Pour boiling brine over the vegetables, filling each jar to within 1/2 an inch from the top. Place lids onto the jars and seal tightly.

4. PROCESS JARS IN A WATER BATH 

Place jars in a hot water bath so they are covered by 1 inch of water. It's ideal to boil the jars at 212 degrees for 10 to 14 minutes. 

5. LET JARS SEAL 

Remove the jars from the water bath and leave out for 24 hours to seal. Jars will be hot, so place them on a cutting board or trivets so you don't burn the counter. The vacuum sucking noises are perfectly normal for the next few hours. 

6. BE PATIENT 

Once your veggies have pickled for about two weeks, open them up and stick them in the fridge. Once they are cool, they are perfect to eat. what to do with pickling juice? You can either add carrots for extra pickling or throw in some olive oil for some spicy salad dressing.