I’ve never met a pickle I didn’t like. From beans and carrots to beets and the traditional cucumber, I’m a fan of them all. Pickled vegetable salads are a common feature on Balkan menus and as such, in the past two years I’ve tried pickled vegetables I never even imagined. I’ve learned that cauliflower is surprisingly good when it has been sitting in a vinegary brine as are red peppers and even mushrooms. As much as I love pickles it was only recently that I started making my own. A part of my reasoning for not making my own pickles is because they are so readily available on market shelves. I am also the only pickle fan in my house so I was hesitant to invest a lot of time into something only I would enjoy. And then I realized how easy it is to make my own pickles!
These cucumber pickles are the perfect solution to my pickle making phobia. I am able to make them in small batches so there isn’t the fear of being inundated with more jars than I can possibly ever eat. (With a move on the horizon the last thing I want to be packing up and moving is jars of pickles). They cure overnight in a vinegar brine while sitting in the refrigerator so I can enjoy them the next day–no extended pickling process is necessary. I used cucumbers for these pickles but you can easily substitute any vegetable you like. Depending upon your preferences, you can add more or less spices. And because this recipe only makes two pints, you can experiment with vegetable and flavor combinations without ending up with numerous jars of pickles you don’t like. Unless you are like me and love all things pickled.
REFRIGERATOR GARLIC DILL PICKLES
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup cold water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
4 large pickling cucumbers
4 dill sprigs
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Combine the cider vinegar, water, and salt in a medium-sized sauce pot. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Divide the dill, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes between two one-pint canning jars or other glass container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Thoroughly scrub the cucumbers, discard the ends, and slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch coins. Pack the two jars with as many cucumber coins as will snuggly fit.
- Pour the hot pickling brine over the cucumbers to just cover.
- Wipe the rims and seal with the lids.
- Place the jars in the refrigerator and allow to sit for at least 24 hours before eating.
Yields: 2 pints