Here are two easy pickle recipes for beginners. I am new to making pickles, but am quickly developing a pickle problem. I've made four batches of pickles this week and only stopped because I ran out of jars. When it's so hot and humid outside that you get sticky with sweat just sitting in the shade, nothing is better than a crunchy, tart and salty pickle. These two recipes are for refrigerator pickles, so there's no canning involved. Just assemble the ingredients and enjoy.
I grew cucumbers and fresh dill in my garden. I think the intense flavor of the dill straight from the summer sunshine makes this simple recipe shine. All you need is cucumbers, dill, garlic, vinegar, and salt. Yum. Vinegar and salt.
Refrigerator Dill Pickles
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar
2 cups water
1 0r 2 cloves garlic
fresh dill or dried dill and seeds
1 tablespoon salt (kosher or pickling salt only)
cracked black pepper
cucumbers - cut into spears, slices, or whole if they are very small (If you buy your cukes at the grocery store, look for UNwaxed.)
Clean and dry 2 glass pint jars or one large quart jar. You can reuse any glass jar for these recipes since they are refrigerator pickles and don't need to be canned or sealed. When you're cutting up the cucumbers, cut off the blossom end (one end has the stem, the other usually smaller end is where the flower used to be - the blossom end) because it has an enzyme that can cause limp pickles - yuck! Put as many cucumbers as you can into the jar(s) along with a clove or two of garlic, some dill and cracked pepper. You can vary the amount of garlic, dill, and pepper according to your taste. Place the vinegar and salt in a saucepan and heat to a boil. Spoon the hot brine over the veggies until the jar is full and the cucumbers are submerged. Put the lids on and let the pickles cool to room temperature. Move them to the refrigerator and enjoy after 24 hours. The inspiration for this recipe came from Urban Preserving.
These pickles crunch and snap with each mouthwatering bite.
The next recipe is both sweet and sour and comes directly from the White On Rice Couple blog. They have lots of fantastic recipes so you should click through and see for yourself. For this recipe you'll need some fresh ginger, sugar, fennel seeds, and of course the vegetables you want to pickle. Although cucumbers are by far the most common vegetable to be brined, you can pickle just about anything. This recipe recommends using snap peas or asparagus, but I didn't have any so I used the veggies I had left over from another recipe (yes, another pickle recipe).
Quick Ginger Pickles
1 clean pint jar or 2 jelly jars
1/3 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 cup water
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 or 4 sprigs fresh tarragon or dill
2 Tablespoons sugar
A 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, julienned (cut into very thin matchsticks)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dill seeds ( I didn't have any, so I added extra fresh dill.)
1 teaspoon salt - use kosher or pickling salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 pound snap peas, asparagus, cucumbers, or other vegetables
1/2 medium red onion thinly sliced
Combine everything except the veggies and mix well to dissolve the salt and sugar. I heated the mixture just a bit to get it to dissolve. Now, scoop out the solids (lemon zest, seeds, dill...) and divide it evenly between your jars. Next, put your vegetables into the jars and press down a little. Pour the brine over it all and refrigerate. Viola! A lovely sweet and sour and most importantly, very gingery pickle.