Jul 29, 2010
Erin's Refrigerator Pickle Recipe
This cucumber is perfect for pickling, minus the mating squash bugs!
dark green, spiny, not too big
I have had a couple of requests for my refrigerator pickle recipe, so rather than put it in the comments section, I will post it! I'm kind of a crunchy pickle snob, pickles always sounded so gross to me growing up, but I tried my first pickle in New York City, need I say more? I still can't bring myself to even try store bought jarred pickles, I don't want to taint that beautiful 1st pickle I ate over 10 years ago! I am always on a mission for crunch in my homemade pickles!
Garlicky Hot Dill Cucumber Pickles
*small recipe makes 2 pints*
1.5 cups Plain White Vinegar
1.5 cups Sugar
1/2 tsp Pickling or Kosher Salt
1/2 cup approx Dill
1-2 per jar Garlic Cloves
1-2 per jar Hot Pepper (any fresh hot pepper you are growing)
Cucumbers, enough to fill 2 jars
Let's Make 'em!:
1. Slice ends off cucumbers (unless they are baby dills) and slice to fit in the jar
2. Place washed dill leaves/flower heads in each jar around the edge to show them off!
3. Place 1 or 2 whole peeled garlic cloves around the outer edge in each jar
4. Place whole pepper in jar (I use fish peppers, cayenne or similar would work!)
5. Bring vinegar, sugar & salt to a simmer (not boil)
6. Pour liquid over the vegetables and leave headspace in the jar (more for spillage protection since you aren't canning them)
7. Cap and refrigerate! In about a week they will be ready and flavorful. Will keep about 2 months this way in the fridge.
*Use cucumbers that are still small and dark green with lots of spines for the crunchiest pickles. I use a Japanese Climbing cucumber that is picked when about 4 inches long and 1 inch or less in diameter (usually!) (most mushy pickles are due to cukes being too big/overripe, if it's yellow or whitish, use it for something else!)
*Note that refrigerator pickles do not need copious amounts of salt, so they are great if you are watching your salt intake like me!
*I use both dill leaves if I have them and the whole flower heads, as much as I can cram in there!
* I use whole, peeled garlic cloves, but you could crush them slightly if you want faster garlic infusion
* I place one whole hot pepper per jar, you could try more depending on the heat of your pepper
* You could experiment with other herbs and additions like onions, but if clarity of the liquid is a feature you are going for, the above recipe will produce crystal clear jars that really show off the vegetable!
* I pickle carrots and beans the same way - a mixture of yellow and green beans is gorgeous to look at and eat!
* I don't worry about placing fresh grape leaves in the bottoms of my refrigerator pickles, they only seem to make a difference in keeping the crunch of long-term canned pickles.
Dilly Beans made with the same recipe, use leftover cut herbs to make a salad vinegar, too!
For those that don't/can't have a garden, or who receive CSA shares as their primary produce provider, these are a great small-batch easy way to preserve food. You can pickle vegetables you find at the farmer's market while they are in season to enjoy later without all the hassle of canning, this recipe only takes 25 minutes start to finish, and that included me walking the garden to harvest the ingredients!