We have been inundated with cucumbers….both from my garden and from our CSA farm share. We have Kirby, English, Japanese and regular ole Garden varieties. We eat cucumbers every day, sometimes twice a day, in an endless arrangement of salads or just sliced on their own. Last night, I decided to make refrigerator pickles to deal with the latest influx from the farm share.
Refrigerator pickles are way easier to make than their canned counterparts. There’s no special equipment, sterilizing jars or brining to mess with. They are lightly pickled cucumbers and not preserved, so they won’t last for months in your cupboard, but are super easy to make and will last for about a week or two in your fridge…that is if they aren’t eaten up before then.
I didn’t really follow a recipe, but there are plenty out there if you want to look for one. Here is what I did. This is per jar.
2 Kirby cucumbers, quartered
1 teaspoon rainbow peppercorns
1 teaspoon dill (I used dill weed, since it was all I had. I think dill seed would work better or fresh springs of dill)
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup of white onion, sliced thinly
1-2 teaspoons of sugar
- Pour your spices & sugar into the jar
- Add sliced cucumbers and onion
- Pour vinegar to cover the spices, cucumbers and onion.
- Put on lid and shake well to mix.
- Refrigerate for 12-24 hours before eating. Will keep in the fridge for about 1-2 weeks.
You can experiment with different vinegars. I like rice wine vinegar a lot for pickling, because it is a little milder and slightly sweet. White vinegar definitely makes pickles with the most bite. You can also experiment with spices. Add more garlic for super garlicky ones or use completely different spices for different flavors. Celery Seed, turmeric, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, cilantro, mustard seed & curry are all popular spices to use. In addition, you can pickle lots of other vegetable this way too. Carrots, green beans, zucchini, radishes, cauliflower, green tomatoes, other types of beans, beets, cabbage, peppers and more or any mixture of vegetables will work. My grandmother used to pickle just about any vegetable that came into the house in the summer from the garden!