Fridge pickles

Posted by Lisa on July 04, 2012
CSA, cucumbers, preserving, putting food by, recipes, summer

We’ve mentioned these pickles here before, but boy howdy, have we got some cucumbers for you this week. Wait until you see your CSA share. Wait until you see the market tables. If you love to pickle – or if you’ve been meaning to learn – now is the time!

We’ll share some other great approaches to pickling here soon, but we think these fridge pickles are a great way to begin. Maybe you’ve been curious about making your own pickles for a long time but feel a little intimidated. Or maybe you’re a seasoned pickler, staring at this week’s share, looking at the thermometer, thinking there is no way in heck you’re going to be doing any canning this week. Either way: hie thee to your kitchen! These are very fast, very easy, and very delicious.

Fridge Pickles
adapted from dlyn

Crunchy, garlicky, and just sour enough, we can’t stop reaching for these. Pour a simple brine of water, vinegar, and salt over cucumbers, garlic, and herbs. Leave the jars alone for a few days … and voila! Pickles! They aren’t canned, so they need to be stored in the fridge. They’ll keep at least a couple months in there — if they last that long. Makes 6 pints or 3 quarts.

For the brine:
2 quarts water
1 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup canning or pickling salt (kosher salt is also fine, but may result in cloudier pickle brine)

For the pickles:
Cucumbers, enough to fit snugly into your jars, washed well and sliced into spears
Garlic, 1-2 cloves per pint jar or 2-3 cloves per quart jar, smashed and peeled
Herbs (dill is classic; we also love thyme), 1-2 sprigs per pint jar or 2-4 sprigs per quart jar, rinsed well

Clean your jars thoroughly with soap and water. They do not need to be sterilized.

Combine all brine ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally to be sure the salt dissolves completely. While the mixture is coming to a boil, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Place a smashed garlic clove or two in the bottom of each jar. Add the sprigs of your chosen herb.

Fill the jar the rest of the way with cucumber spears. Really cram them in there — otherwise some spears will float above the brine when you add it, and this can lead to premature spoilage.

Add another smashed garlic clove to each jar — wedge it down between some cucumber spears so it won’t float when you add the brine.

Pour the simmering brine over the vegetables, being sure they are completely submerged. If your brine isn’t simmering, bring it back to a simmer before pouring it over the vegetables.

Put a lid on each jar.

Leave at room temperature for 2-3 days (less time when the weather is very hot, more when it’s cold) and then, if you can stand it, put them in the fridge for an additional 1-2 weeks.

We usually break into the first jar right away but give the rest of the jars the additional slow fridge fermentation before eating them.



4 Comments to Fridge pickles

  • […] Inspired by a recent-ish Fresh Air interview about fermented foods, I decided this week’s cucumbers would make ideal pickles. And so I present, protopickles. They’ll graduate into real edible foodstuffs Monday or Tuesday, but will be at their best in about two weeks, according to this very helpful blog post. […]

  • Oh yeah! These sound scrumptious! I just set a crock of pickles to ferment and canned a bunch of honeyed bread an butter pickles, but we have pickles growing out of our ears. These would be a perfect quick fix for some of them. Thanks for sharing…and I am totally going to pair the thyme (since I have that on hand too) with some freshly harvested garlic.