When I was a young cook, I fancied myself mastering things such as yeast breads, summer preserves, and berry pies, delicacies that required time and patience to prepare. I envisioned a kitchen lined with blue ribbons from county fairs, living in a place where my preserves were recognized at least three towns over. Silly dreams of a city girl, and the truth is time constraints lead me to shortcuts every day, especially in the kitchen. For this week’s #SundaySupper, we’re going to slow things down and preserve the bounty this season brings. Stacy from Food Lust People Love and Tara over at Noshing with the Nolands are hosting this week’s event, and I’ve got a quick and easy pickle recipe that you’re going to love.
Pickling is an age-old method for preserving foods. In fact, pickled cucumbers have been around since ancient times, dating back to the days of Mesopotamia. Christopher Columbus introduced pickles to the New World, and by the 17th century, pickles were being produced commercially out of Virginia. Fast forward to modern times, more than five million pickles are consumed annually in the U.S. alone. That’s a whole bunch of pickles!
While the process of pickling is often thought to be a laborious task involving sterilized Mason jars and hot water baths, it’s also possible to make pickles by using a simple brine and then refrigerating. As you can imagine, we’re going with the refrigerator method today! Even though this method leads to a shorter shelf life (about six months), these pickles are so irresistible, the entire batch may disappear in a matter of days. This recipe was adapted from Smith & Hawken’s Gardeners’ Community Cookbook.
Whisk together the vinegar, salt, and sugar, until the sugar dissolves. I do this in my large measuring cup so it’s ready to pour.
Slice all your veg about 1/8-inch thick. For this I used my OXO hand-held mandoline set on 2.
Distribute the veg equally between the two jars, layering with the spices. Then, pour the vinegar mixture over the top, divided equally between the two jars. Secure the lids, then place in the refrigerator for about three days, giving a good shake each day.
We started eating them about six hours in, and they only improved each day. Whether you pile them high on sandwiches or toss them in salads, they’re SO good, you may never go back to store-bought again!
Here’s the printer-friendly version:
- 2 quart-sized Mason jars with lids
- 2 cups distilled white vinegar*
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 1½ - 2 lbs Kirby cucumbers, washed and sliced ⅛-inch thick*
- ½ green bell pepper, seeded and sliced in ⅛-inch thick strips
- ½ large white onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 4 tsp pickling spices
- 3 tsp dill weed
- Prepare Mason jars and lids for use by washing in your dishwasher.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, and sugar, until the sugar is dissolved. Set this aside.
- Layer the cucumbers, bell pepper, onion, and garlic the jars, dividing equally between the two.
- Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of pickling spices and 1½ teaspoon of dill weed in each jar.
- Divide the vinegar mixture in half, pouring into each jar. Note, the liquid will not cover the vegetables at first, but they will release liquid as they cure, and the liquid level will rise.
- Cap the jars tightly, and place in the refrigerator. Give the jars a good shake daily, and the pickles will be ready in about three days (we actually started eating them way before that, but they do taste better as they mature.)
If you are unable to find Kirby cucumbers, small, young cucumbers are a good substitute.
Let’s see what the others have done with this summer’s bounty!
Learn how to …
- Dry Fruit – No-Dehydrator-Needed from Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Freeze Cherries from Pies and Plots
- Freeze Herbs from Rhubarb and Honey
- Make Freezer Harvest Soup Kits from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Make Pesto Cubes from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Make and Freeze Rosemary Butter from Momma’s Meals
- Make Ready to Blend Smoothie Packs for Your Freezer from The Educators’ Spin On It
- Oven Dry Cherries from The Redhead Baker
Sip sunny cocktails and smoothies
- Blueberry, Peaches and Cream Green Smoothies from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Green Tea and Chocolate Saketini from Ninja Baking
- Sangria from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
Scoop up special salsas and sauces
- Classic Freezer Tomato Sauce from Noshing With The Nolands
- Peach Salsa from The Texan New Yorker
- Pico de Gallo from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Spicy Apple – Carrot Chutney from What Smells So Good?
- Spring Conserve from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Jump into jellies, jams and preserves
- Apricot Habanero Jam from Food Lust People Love
- Corn Cob Jelly from Daily Dish Recipes
- Hot Pepper Jelly from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- No Pectin Apricot Jam from Curious Cuisiniere
- Peach Preserves from Delaware Girl Eats
- Pineapple Mango Moscato Jam from Seduction in the Kitchen
- Raw Raspberry-Vanilla Chia Jam from Shockingly Delicious
- Savory Fig and Sweet Onion Freezer Jam from Peaceful Cooking
- Spicy Ginger Tomato Jam with Coconut Sugar from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Spicy Red Pepper Jam from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Pucker up for pickles
- Bread and Butter Pickles from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pickled Beets and Onions from Kudos Kitchen by Renée
- Pickled Green Tomatoes from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Refrigerator Pickled Jalapeños with Herbs from Magnolia Days
- Refrigerator Pickled Radish and Turnips from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Refrigerator Pickles from Webicurean
- Sweet Pickled Cauliflower from Because I Like Chocolate
Slurp and spoon soup and a side dish
- Easy Garden Fresh Tomato Basil Soup from Neighborfood
- Savory Summer Kimchi from A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
Dive into divine desserts
- Easy (no machine) Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream from Mama Bee Does
- Freeze ‘em For Later Peach Berry Hand Pies from eating in instead
- Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries from Peanut Butter and Pepper
- Lemon and Blackberry Meringue Cakes from Happy Baking Days
- Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake with Vanilla Drizzle from Wallflour Girl
- Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream from Killer Bunnies, Inc.
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