It’s about that time in the summer when you’re overrun with fresh vegetables but there’s not enough time to eat them all. One quick and easy solution is to make refrigerator pickles! When we think of pickles we usually think of cucumbers but don’t limit yourself…you can use okra, peppers, watermelon rinds or almost any other type of vegetable. In this case I used 4 different varieties of cucumber (3 of which were harvested from our GreenStalk gardening systems). In this recipe I used organic apple cider vinegar for its health benefits but you could easily use white vinegar instead. Make sure that you’re using either pickling or sea salt instead of iodized table salt (this gives the pickles sediment and a film).
*The cucumber varieties that I used were a slicing variety, lemon, white wonder and muncher. The slicing variety was almost too big to fit into the mason jar and had a lot of seeds whereas the muncher cucumber was almost perfect. It was crunchy and small enough to fit onto sandwiches. The white wonder cucumbers were probably the second best option as they retained a lot of crunch and had a manageable amount of seeds. The worst cucumber for pickling in this case is definitely the lemon cucumber. It had the highest water content out of all of the cucumbers I was using which caused it to become fairly limp. All of these pickles were made using apple cider vinegar which distorts color a little (but still tastes amazing!). Overall, the best cucumber to use is a small seedless variety that is just beginning to ripen.
Spicy Dill Refrigerator Pickles
Yield: 4 pints
4-5 medium sized cucumbers (dependent upon variety)
2 cups vinegar
2 cups of water
4 sprigs of dill
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of pickling or sea salt
2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper or peppercorns (optional)
4 pint sized mason jars
On the bottom of your mason jars place one crushed clove of garlic, a sprig of dill and crushed red pepper if you’re adding it. Slice your cucumbers fairly thin and distribute them evenly among the mason jars. In another bowl mix together vinegar, water and salt. Once the salt is dissolved, pour it over the cucumbers while making sure that it is above the line of cucumbers. Give it a quick shake to distribute your ingredients and pop it in the fridge!
This recipe is completely customizable. You can add more garlic and crushed red pepper or even substitute other herbs if you would prefer. These pickles are good to eat after a couple hours but the flavor is best if left overnight. They can be left in the fridge for up to a month but these crunchy treats are sure to be gone by then!
What’s your favorite way to use your GreenStalk harvests?