Friday, August 15, 2008

Garlicky Cucumber Refrigerator Pickles


The cucumber rules in our household. We like to grow the Suyo Long cucumbers that curl and twist as they grow and stay deliciously sweet and small-seeded even when they are big, but this year my old seed packet didn't germinate during our cool spring weather, so I was forced to buy some cucumber plants. Our local garden spot had Marketmore cucumbers, which are basically a standard straight-growing dark green cuke. They have been fabulously prolific in our damp summer so we've been gorging on cucumber salads and cucumber and tomato salads and cucumber and mint and tomato salads, etc.

There are so many cukes though, that we're also giving them away at the store and to our neighbors and there are even more left over to make deliciously crisp Refrigerator Pickles. The following recipe is one we've adapted over the last several years from various canning and vegetable cookbooks and they are really tasty.

Garlicky Cucumber Refrigerator Pickles

10-12 large cucumbers, cut into thin spears or slices
2 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and cut in half
6 heads of fresh dill, preferably with dill seeds hanging off
1 tsp. pickling spice (or mix of mustard seeds, bay leaves, and hot pepper flakes)
1/4 cup coarse salt
1/4 cup white vinegar
2-1/2 qts. water

Trim ends of cucumbers and peel if skin is really thick or damaged. Otherwise leave skin on. For cucumber slices, the food processor gets them delectably thin.

Place cucumbers, garlic, dill, and pickling spices in a non-reactive, non-metal pot. Put salt, vinegar and water in another large non-reactive pot and bring to boil. Boil at least 2 minutes to make brine. Pour over cucumbers in original pot. Place a china or stoneware plate over cucumbers to weigh them down and add another weight (like a heavy jar or can). Cover with lid or plastic wrap.

Leave at room temperature at least 8 hours or overnight. Pack cucumbers into six squeaky clean half-pint jars. Pour brine over and seal. Refrigerate at least 2 days before opening to let flavors mingle.

Pickles keep up to six months and stay deliciously crisp. Discard any jar that has a funky smell when you open it. The pickles should just smell garlicky and taste lightly salty and herby.

Makes 6 half pints.

5 comments:

Tom Aarons said...

I love fridge pickles. They're so easy. And this one looks especially tasty as well!

Allergy Mom said...

It looks like we had the same idea! I made some marinated cukes to submit to GAHIGF, and just came by to get your email addy to find you already had fridge full. Yum.

Anonymous said...

I am new to this ... what is a non-reactive pot? Glass? Thanks

Anonymous said...

what is a non reactive metal pot - glass? I don't mean to sound dumb, I just honestly don't know.

Rachel said...

Anonymous:

A non-reactive pot would be one that is not aluminum, steel or other metal, but rather a glass pot or an enamel-covered pot. The vinegar would react with the metal to give an unpleasant metallic taste to your pickles otherwise.

-Rachel