Try a Quick Pickle – It’s So Easy!

By Anne Hynes

This time of year in Ontario we are blessed with a lot of beautiful produce. One way to make the most of it is by preserving.  The easiest method is to quick pickle. The benefit of quick pickling is that it does not require a water bath and small quantities can be made, so it is literally very quick to do! Because it is not sealed in a water bath, quick pickles must be kept in the fridge and they should be eaten within a couple of weeks.

This recipe is very simple. While the brine is being heated up, prepare your vegetables (harder vegetables like carrots or beets should be sliced thin using a mandolin). Pack the vegetables into clean jars, add a pinch of pickling spice, pour over the hot brine and seal it up. Let it cool overnight in the fridge, et voilà you have quick pickles!

We sell Pickled Onions, Pickled Fennel, and Giardiniera at the store in jars and in our sandwiches and salads.  They are great alongside grilled meats and charcuterie. They are readily transportable too, so don’t forget to pack them in your picnic basket!

Quick Pickled Beet and Shallots
Makes 2 250ml jars.

6 small beets, with greens attached
1 shallot, peeled
2/3 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp salt
Pinch of pickling spice (optional)

Make the brine: Combine vinegars, sugar and salt in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve.  Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, cut beets from greens, wash and peel with a vegetable peeler. (Beet greens can be sautéed like spinach, so don’t throw them out!)

Using a mandolin carefully cut beets and shallot into 4 mm thick slices.

Pack into 2 clean 250 ml jars. Top with a pinch of pickling spice if using.

Pour over brine and seal with lid. Let cool overnight in fridge. Pickles can be eaten the next day.

Movies for Foodies

It’s TIFF time so we took a moment to quiz the Sanagan’s staff on their favourite food movies. Being dedicated film buffs, they didn’t disappoint.  If you’re looking for a feast for the eyes, here’s the Sanagan’s Meat Locker Non-Authoritative, Incomplete Guide to Culinary Cinema.

GREAT FOOD MOVIES (in no particular order)

TAMPOPO Japan 1985
Described as a Ramen Western, this film about one woman’s quest for the perfect bowl of noodles is consistently funny and makes you more hungry than any other movie in history.

BABETTE’S FEAST Denmark 1987
Set in 19th century Denmark, the film depicts the preparation and serving of a single celebratory blow-out meal prepared for a table-load of abstemious elders by Babette, their housekeeper who reveals herself as a once-renowned French chef. If you’ve ever doubted the glory of classic French cuisine, watch this.

JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI America/Japan 2011
A Portrait of the Artist As An Old Man. 85 years, ten seats, and three Michelin stars is the equation of obsession depicted in this documentary.  It’s as close as most of us will ever get to eating there. Bonus – Philip Glass soundtrack.

THE BIG NIGHT America 1996
Italian food, Italian families, Louis Prima, adultery and the 1950’s all get mixed up in this big tempestuous foodie hit. Even Isabella Rossellini is eclipsed by the real star of the movie, an epic casserole called the Timpano.

RATATOUILLE America 2007
Ratatouille, the story of a restauranting rodent by Pixar, goes all in on food culture. Don’t forget that you’re listening to the voices of Ian Holme (Bilbo) and Peter O’Toole.

THE TRIP(S) Britain 2010, 2014, 2017
Two men behaving badly and hilariously sampling modern cuisine in restaurants that take themselves really seriously. Arguably the greatest Michael Caine scene of all time and Michael Caine’s not even in it.


GOODFELLAS America 1990
Those wiseguys living large in prison with Paul Sorvino (Mira’s dad) razor-blading garlic is by far and away the favourite food scene with the Sanangan’s gang. Like Vinny says, “You gotta have the pork, that’s the flava”.

FRENZY Britain 1972
Multiple scenes of Chief Inspector Oxford’s hopes for good old bangers and mashed being dashed by his wife’s attempts at domestic self-improvement via gourmet cooking, all depicted with humorous, queasy Hitchcockian detachment.

James Bond schools M on the finer points of sherry.
BOND: “Pity about your liver sir. It’s an unusually fine solera. ‘51 I believe.”
M: “There is no year for Sherry 007.”
BOND: “I was referring to the original vintage on which the Sherry is based — 1851.”

ROCKY America 1976
Take your pick: Sly chasing chickens, chugging raw eggs, or tenderizing some sides in the meat locker; Rocky trained with an entire grocery store.

OLDBOY Korea 2003
You have no idea what fresh seafood means until you watch this incredible movie. Don’t invite your PETA friends.

Honorable Mention: Chocolat, The 100-Foot Journey, Mostly Martha, Julia and Julia, Chef, Kings of Pastry