Elevate The Flavor Of Your Next Sandwich With Pickled Avocados

There's no denying the deliciousness of a fresh avocado: Its creamy texture and rich taste are the focus of many iconic dishes, from guacamole to countless fashionable varieties of avocado toast. However, pickled avocados offer novel flavors and a durable, homemade fix-in to elevate your next sandwich.

Pickling is an ancient preservation technique that transforms ingredients into tangy, juicy versions of themselves. Pickling also tenderizes ingredients, softening the intense crunch of veggies like cucumbers, carrots, and onions. Pickling avocados infuses their rich yet neutral flavor with a bright tartness that'll pair well with savory, salty, spicy, and even sweet sandwich fillers. Pickled avocado recipes call for firm, underripe avocados, using the pickling liquid to tenderize them. Therefore, pickled avocado slices will hold their shape but still maintain that lusciously creamy consistency we love from a ripe avocado.

Despite their popularity, avocados are still considerably expensive. Plus, they often come imported and at their greenest. Pickling them is a great way to stretch their shelf-life and, consequently, your budget. It'll also streamline the ripening process, which is especially useful for the super-green imported avocados commonly sold in regions far from California or Mexico, where they're a native crop. Lastly, the pickling process is straightforward and customizable, taking only two hours to execute.

Pickling flavors and sandwich pairings

Tasting Table's pickled avocado recipe provides different options to elaborate pickling brine by diversifying types of vinegar and sweeteners and adding your favorite aromatics, chilies, spices, and herbs to the pot. Pickles seasoned with different flavors will open up a greater range of possibilities for potential sandwich pairings.

The standard pickling formula for avocados is equal parts water and vinegar to between ¼ and ½ part of sugar. Distilled vinegar and white sugar will provide an intense yet balanced sweet-and-sour flavor that you can build on with robust spices and aromatics like garlic, black peppercorns, and mustard seed for a profile similar to pickled cucumbers. You could use these in a classic hamburger or turkey club sandwich to balance out the umami flavors of the meat.

For a sweeter take on pickled avocado, you can use apple cider or sherry vinegar and swap the white sugar for a richer, more floral honey. This would get a nice kick from all-spice and ground ginger. A sweet and spicy pickled avocado would work well with salty cheeses or savory, peppery bacon. You could swap the apple cider vinegar for rice vinegar and add herbs like cilantro for a zesty pickled avocado to pair with a Banh Mi sandwich. Use red pepper flakes or raw jalapeno slices, a bay leaf, coriander, and garlic for a pickling brine that'll play up spicy and savory flavors to pair with a Mexican torta.