This isn't any ordinary chow chow - it's Veggie Chow! A tangy mix of crunchy, pickled fresh veggies that you can spoon into salads to add colour and zing, or pile onto a burger, or stir into eggs. Add it to any dish that needs a pick-me-up. With a jar of Veggie Chow in your fridge you'll have a secret ingredient to make meals sing (and give you time to play outside). [Skip to recipe.]
Oh, I'm loving the heat and the lazy, crazy summer days. They've arrived suddenly and with a vengeance. One minute it was still cold and rainy, and now it's suddenly hot, hot, hot.
The peonies are in full glorious bloom in the sun:
Hostas are thriving in the shade,
and the garden is growing like a . . . weed (pardon the pun).
When it gets this hot and I'm melting in my kitchen, even with the fans going full blast, I like my cooking to be simple and effortless. I'm so glad I made a big jar of this veggie chow chow weeks ago, and now I can scoop out a few spoonfuls to add to any old lazy dish and make it look like I took some time in the kitchen when really I didn't. A colleague at work (thanks, Dana 🙂 ) told me about the idea for this - she'd seen it on a cooking show on TV - basically diced fresh veggies preserved in vinegar. I loved the idea and had to play around with it. I made my batch well over six weeks ago and it's almost gone, but still fresh, crunchy, and tasty. So I'm guessing it will last at least a couple months in the fridge. Isn't that a treat for a lazy cook?
It's best to chose vegetables that will stay crunchy and not lose their colour. I found the combination of onions, celery, carrots, peppers, and corn to be the best, but you could try with any veggies you like. Next time I'm going to add a few spoonfuls of mustard seeds or celery seeds. I think they'd add nice crunch and little pops of flavour. A few cloves of minced garlic might be delicious in there, too.
Once you've got a jar of Veggie Chow in your fridge, you can let your creativity run free. A spoonful stirred into dishes will add bright spots of colour and little tangy bursts of pickled crunchiness. Plus, it'll save you time cleaning and chopping veggies when you just need a few. Do the work ahead so you can spend more time playing.
Ways to Use Veggie Chow
Add a few spoonfuls to a simple salad of lettuce, cucumbers, and avocado.
Or even just dress up plain chopped lettuce.
Here I've stirred a few spoonfuls into an edamame and quinoa salad:
I've plopped some over poached eggs for a light and flavourful breakfast:
We've topped our burgers with the colourful mix:
Stir some into scrambled eggs, pasta salads, layered salads, tuna salad, salmon salad, egg salad, lentil stews, or casseroles, or tuck it into quesadillas, sandwiches, wraps, or pita pockets. Add a bit to salad rolls, or try garnishing soups with a spoonful of bright crunchy colour. Use it on top of hamburgers, spoon it into hot dogs, or sprinkle on pizza. Stick some into a grilled cheese sandwich or under the cheese on a tuna melt. Mix a handful of veggie chow chow into raw ground beef when you make hamburger patties or meatloaf. Mix equal parts mayonnaise and yogurt, then stir in a few spoonfuls of Veggie Chow and a handful of fresh or dried herbs for a light and tasty dip for veggies.
You can see how versatile this Veggie Chow is, and how handy it'll be to have a jar of it in the fridge this summer. Pack it for camping or for at the cottage, too.
You'll look like a kitchen wizard when you can quickly stir up tasty meals.
It'll be your secret summer ingredient - pickled bits of fairy dust to add zip to your meals.
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: You can make any amount of Veggie Chow - just use the ratio of 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of oil for each cup of diced vegetables.
Veggie Chow Chow
- 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup finely diced celery
- 1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 1 cup finely diced carrot
- 1 cup fresh or frozen & defrosted corn kernels
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
- 10 tablespoons (150ml) white vinegar (½ cup + 2 tablespoons)
- 5 teaspoons oil
Combine all the chopped vegetables and put them into a large jar or bowl with a lid. Add the vinegar and oil. Shake to combine.
Refrigerate, stirring or shaking several times during the first day. Use after 24 hours.
Will keep in the fridge for 6 to 8 weeks, or more.
Strain out a few spoonfuls to add to any dishes for extra flavour, crunch, and colour.
Makes 5 cups (1.2l).
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Isn't that just the prettiest combo...maybe a little bit of diced beet...golden. Chioggia, or be brave and throw in some deep red?! Radishes? I'm already chopping! Thanks.
Thanks, Vivian. You're onto something there - golden beets would be lovely in the Veggie Chow - they'd add a nice sweet and earthy touch! Have fun chopping. 🙂
I am looking forward to having this in the frig. Thank you.
You're welcome, Jeanette. I'm making another batch right away, too. Just spooned the last of it into salmon salad for sandwiches for a road trip. Easy breezy summer eating. Have a great summer ?.
Great idea Margaret...will put mine together this weekend.
Hope you enjoy using it, Dale. I love that I can do the chopping ahead when I have time, then scoop out a spoonful to use when I'm rushed - my kind of summer cooking. Hope you're having a lovely summer and some great gardening adventures!