Pickles tend to be a love them or hate them food. I lean way into the love them camp – in all varieties. Pickled anything makes me happy, and now is the time of year when you can really explore. Carrots, radishes, beets. I pickle a lot of things, but there’s nothing better than the classic.
All of the extra produce – including cucumbers galore – can be turned into pickles with a few simple ingredients and just a few hours to let them work their magic. They’re better after a few days, but the pickling goodness starts happening soon after the brine meets the veggies.
I visited a farm stand over the weekend and loaded up on locally grown cabbage, lettuce and corn. But first I stumbled onto a giant bin of pickling cucumbers, which are fantastic and so fun to pick out based on their various shapes and sizes. Next to the bin was a bucket filled with 6-foot stalks of fresh dill for the price you’d pay for a tiny clamshell of the fresh herb in the grocery store.
That was all I needed to make a few jars of fresh, seasonal pickles to enjoy during these warm summer days.
While you can add seasonings and mix up the styling of quick pickles, the key for me is starting with a 3-ingredient brine – equal parts water and white vinegar, plus kosher salt – to create the pickling liquid. The ratios are easily doubled or tripled for a larger batch. This one-cup to one-cup mix will generally create enough brine to fill at least three quart jars that have been tightly packed with veggies.
Many quick pickle recipes you find will have some sugar added to the brine, but I leave it out. I like a more vinegary pickle with no added sugar, which also keeps them Whole30 compliant.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds per jar
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns per jar
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill per jar
- 1 garlic clove, smashed or rough chopped, per jar
- Veggie of your choice, cut into slices or spears
Add water, vinegar and salt to a medium, non-reactive* saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil to create brine, then remove from heat.
Add mustard seed, black peppercorns, fresh dill and garlic clove to each quart-size jar. Wash veggies and cut into desired pieces and pack on top of seasonings. You’ll want the jar to be as packed full as possible.
Carefully fill the jar with hot brine, making sure you cover veggies and fill the jar all the way to the top. Let the jar come down to room temperature. Screw on the lid, and place in the refrigerator to work magic.
Pickles last for 3 weeks (up to 2 months) in the refrigerator. I generally eat all of mine
I like to flip the jar every hour or so for the first several hours to ensure everything is getting an even coating. Pickles are ready in as soon as 6 hours, though the longer you wait the better they get. *Using a non-reactive sauce pan will help avoid any off flavors that might change the flavor of your pickles.