Pickling with vinegar is a very ancient preserving technique, which has become trendy again today. Not really to preserve the vegetables, but because it gives them a fresh and tangy touch. All sorts of vegetables can be preserved in vinegar, from soft ones like tomatoes to hard ones like cabbage.
A classic marinade is made with sugar, vinegar and water, herbs and spices. Sugar has the same role as salt here: it draws the moisture from the vegetable cells and gives them a crunchy texture. You can marinade the vegetables for a few hours, days or weeks.
The vegetables “cook” in the marinade, which can be prepared hot or cold, and are then transferred to airtight jars.
A classic example of pickles includes gherkins, cauliflower, carrots and baby onions in a vinegar and mustard sauce.