A quick and simple way to pickle and preserve your ripe avocados at home.
Avocados just might be a wonder fruit. They complement just about every meal they accompany from salads and tacos to eggs and toast, and they've become more prevalent as bases for things like mousse or ice cream lately. I was recently lucky enough to find myself the owner of ten perfectly ripe avocados, and not enough time to eat them all. I began looking for other ways to use the avocados before they became overripe. With 10 sitting on my hands it seemed like the perfect time to experiment with preservation or life prolonging techniques for those avocados and still have a few fresh ones to accompany every meal and snack. I chose to tackle pickling first, after all we pickle everything else from cucumbers to watermelon, why not avocado?
I decided to go with a quick pickle with the hopes of preserving the ripe avocado's consistency as well as a quick result that I could enjoy in the immediate future. These little chunks of pickled avocados are delicious, and make a great addition to rice bowls, toast, and cheese and crackers. Enjoy!
Step 1: Ingredients
Gather the following ingredients:
- 1 Cup White Vinegar
- 1 Cup Water
- 4 Avocados
- 1 Tablespoon Red Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Rainbow Peppercorns
- 2 Teaspoons Pickling Salt
Gather the following materials:
- Mason Jar for Storage
*Note: You could also add other spices or flavors like lemon, juniper berries, or bay leaf to your pickle brine if you'd like. I chose to keep it simple for this first avocado pickling.
Step 2: Find Ripe Avocados
For this Instructable you'll want ripe avocados on the firm side so that they hold their consistency when you pickle them.
I have found that you can identify a ripe avocado easily by simply checking under the stem. To do this, hold the avocado in your hand and place your thumb on the stem. Roll your thumb against the stem until it rolls out of the avocado. If the stem separates from the avocado easily and leaves a bright green patch of flesh underneath, you've found the perfect avocado.
Conversely, if your stem does not roll away from your fruit, the avocado is not ready. If it rolls away and the avocado flesh that is exposed is brown, your avocado is over ripe, mushy and not ideal for pickling.
Step 3: Brine
Let's start by making your brine. This way, your brine can cool while you prepare your avocados for pickling. Place 1 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of water in a nonreactive pot on your stove. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer until all of the salt has dissolved. Remove your pot from the heat and allow to cool.
Step 4: Halve Your Avocados
Using a sharp knife, cut your avocados in half lengthwise by rotating the knife around the avocado. Once halved, separate the avocado halves by placing a hand on each half and rotate, twisting your hands in opposite directions.
Step 5: Remove the Pit
To remove the pit of the avocado, hold the avocado half in your non-dominant hand. With your dominant hand, carefully whack your knife into the pit until it sticks firmly. Keeping the knife firmly stuck into the pit, twist the knife until the pit rotates and comes loosely away from the fruit.
The avocado pit should now be stuck to the blade of your knife. To safely remove the knife from the pit, place your fingers against the pit from the back of the blade. This way when you apply force to remove the pit from the blade you are working in a direction with the blade, not against it. Apply force to the back of the pit, until it releases from the knife blade.
Step 6: Peel Your Avocados
Gently pry away the skin from your avocado fruit using your fingers. The skin will come off in pieces but that is okay, keeping the fruit whole is more important.
You can also use a spoon along the inside of the avocado fruit to loosen it from the skin, but I have found that a little patience and peeling leads to a better end result.
Step 7: Slice
Place your avocado halves, cut side down on your cutting board. Cut slivers lengthwise and then cut your avocado into cubes by slicing your slivers crosswise. You should finish with a bunch of avocado cubes.
Step 8: Jarring
Start your jarring process with a clean mason jar. If it is not clean and clear of impurities, boil your jar in water for a minimum of 10 minutes and allow to dry.
With your clean mason jar, add your tablespoon of red pepper flakes as well as your tablespoon of peppercorns. Add your sliced/cubed avocado until it's about an inch below the jar opening.
Step 9: Add Your Brine
By now, your brine should have cooled and it is safe to add to your avocados. Pour carefully and slowly, taking care to completely cover your avocados with the brine. This will start the pickling process. Place your lid on your jar and store in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. The longer you store your avocados, the more pickle like they will become, but this is a quick pickle, and your avocados will be done after 6 hours.
Continue to store your pickled avocados in the refrigerator when you aren't currently enjoying them.
Step 10: Enjoy
You're done! Your pickles have a shelf life of roughly a week--thats the longest they've lasted with me.
Enjoy your pickled avocados. I enjoy putting them on top of kale salads, over rice, or with cheese and crackers.