This one’s for you, Suchalab (from yesterday’s comments). Everyone should know how to make a ‘fridge pickle. (Also? They’re not just for cucumbers anymore. Think onions! Think carrots! Think beets! Think beans! Think fennel!)
These are the pickles I brought to David on the show on Tuesday. I made them quickly, slicing up a lone cuke that arrived in my CSA box, and covering it with a quick brine of rice vinegar, sugar, salt and pickling spices – something I picked up in the bulk spice section, but looks like mustard seed, coriander and bay leaves? With other bits in it?
As I wrote in Swerve a couple weeks ago, there are a few factors that keep would-be pickle enthusiasts from pursuing this particular craft: the time commitment of putting up dozens of enormous jars of baby cukes, and then those dozens of jars, filled with dill pickles or the like, occupying a good chunk of valuable real estate in the pantry. As with jam, there’s no reason a batch of pickles should require bushels of veggies, dozens of canning jars, proper processing equipment plus an entire afternoon spent in their service. Quick pickles come together quickly and in small batches – a single jar in the fridge is all you need, right? When you think of a refrigerator pickle as simply brined or marinated veggies, they don’t seem quite so intimidating.
Quick Refrigerator Pickles
Measurements here are pretty lax – really just go for enough brine to cover whatever it is you want to pickle. Add more sugar for sweeter pickles.
1 cup rice or apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar (or more, if you like sweeter pickles)
1 Tbsp. coarse salt
1 garlic clove, smashed (optional)
2 tsp. pickling spice or mustard seed (or a sprig of fresh dill)
2 small cucumbers (or 4 mini ones), sliced on a slight diagonal
In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and pickling spice to a simmer. Pour over the cucumber slices in a small bowl or jar. Cool, then refrigerate. Let them hang out for at least a day or two before you eat them.
September 14 2011 07:56 pm | preserves