Some additional combinations are: kosher salt and peppercorns, garlic and mustard seed, lemon zest and thyme, fresh ginger slivers and lemon zest. I don't use table salt, only kosher, in my jars since it will make the brine cloudy which is also a tell tale sign that you have bacteria growing in your jar.
Pickled Brussel Sprouts
1 lbs Brussel Sprouts (choose smaller ones)
4 cups white or cider vinegar (cider vinegar will give a sweeter taste without having to add sugar)
4 cups water
Add to each jar:
3 strips of lemon peel (remove all of the pith or white part)
1/8 t. powdered garlic
8 black peppercorns
1/8 t. yellow mustard seed
pinch of kosher salt
8 pink peppercorns
pinch of kosher salt
Pre-Prep: Cut the base of the brussel sprout then cut lengthwise down the center to create two halves. Wash the Brussels thoroughly in cold water.
Preparation : Prepare 4 pint jars, lids, and rings. Sterilize the jars and keep them in the hot water till its time for processing. Make sure to fill your water bath canner and get the water to a simmer.
Cooking: In a stainless steel or enameled dutch heat water and vinegar. Heat to a simmer and leave on the stove.
Filling the jars: On a dishtowel place your hot jars down and fill with the halves of the brussel sprouts. These are raw since we want them to have a bit of a bite to them when they are done and not completely mushy. Add your kosher salt and spices to each jar. Using your funnel ladle the brine (vinegar & water) into each of the jars leaving ½” headspace. Remove air bubbles and refill to the proper headspace if necessary. Taking a clean papertowel wet it with warm water and wipe the rims of the jars removing any food particles that would interfere with a good seal. Using your magic wand extract the lids from the hot water and place them on the now cleaned rims. Add your rings to the tops of each of the jars and turn to seal just "finger tight".
Processing: Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn't measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 15 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning.
Sealing: Some time in the next hour your jars will be making a "pinging" or "popping" noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal.
These are pickled asparagus done with the same brine but I have added a few strips of red bell peppers, 8 black peppercorns and a pinch of kosher salt.