Saying goodbye to summer is never easy, but seeking out fall’s comfort dishes makes the transition something I can get excited about. When it’s time to bid farewell to summer’s crisp salads, I turn to my autumnal twist on a grain bowl that includes just as many delicious, seasonal veggies. Grain bowls, in general, are so versatile, and I try to be intentional with each component I add to the mix. For me, kale salads are always in rotation, no matter the season. Pair that with warm roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, cauliflower or broccoli, and toasted seeds like pepitas, hemp, or sesame seeds, and you have a recipe for YUM.
To keep things feeling fresh and interesting in this autumn grain bowl, I also add quick, pickled vegetables for a kick of crispness and a bit of zing. Often, I add veggies that have been living in my fridge for a little too long and need some love. For me, that’s carrots and radishes. I also regularly pickle beets, cabbage, and cauliflower.
For this quick pickle brine, I heat the liquid to mellow out some of that vinegary punch. If you like a stronger vinegar taste, only heat the sugar, salt, and water together and add the vinegar cold. I also drop a few slices of hot chile peppers for a little spice, but that can be omitted. Consider adding whole spices like cumin or coriander, which create a lovely earthy and floral taste.
As a rule, I make my pickle brine with equal parts water to vinegar. The vinegar you choose is completely up to you, but I prefer champagne or rice vinegar, although white distilled or white wine is perfectly fine, too. To make the pickling experience more interesting, try toasting some whole spices such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, cumin, coriander seeds, or try juniper berries! Add chili peppers for heat and a slice of red beets to naturally dye your pickles the loveliest shade of fuschia. When it comes to pickling, the world is truly your oyster. Get the recipe for this Autumn Grain Bowl With Quick Pickled Vegetables below.