Ashley English is the author of four books in The Homemade Living Series: Canning & Preserving, Keeping Chickens, Keeping Bees, Home Dairy, and the forthcoming A Year of Pies. She has worked over the years with a number of nonprofit organizations committed to social and agricultural issues. She is currently a member of Slow Food USA, and has had a regular column for Design*Sponge. Ashley lives in Candler, NC, and writes a blog called Small Measure.
Perhaps what you have is a hankering, not a mission. Possibly you have merely a cuke or two, not a bushel, and you’ve got a pickle itch that must be promptly scratched. Well, look no further; your healing balm has been found. If you crave the puckery twang of a pickle but don’t want the time commitment involved in boiling water bath processing, then a quick, or refrigerator, pickle is just the thing you’re after. The process goes something like this: You stir up a brine, chop up your veggies, add them to the brine, and park the whole thing in the fridge. Pickled ecstasy is yours within a week. Your quick pickles will stay fresh for about 3 weeks thereafter. It really is that easy.
Enjoy the heady fragrance and spicy zip of cumin, fennel, black pepper, and other Persian spices in this easy pickle recipe. Served alongside a hummus sandwich, homemade falafel, or even your basic burger, these crunchy goodies might become your new favorite thing.
You will need:
3 pounds pickling cucumbers
2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons pickling or kosher salt
6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon mustard seed
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
Yield: 2 quarts
1. Thoroughly clean whatever containers you will be using to store your quick pickles once refrigerated. You can use any ceramic or glass container with a lid. Avoid metal and plastic vessels, as they can impart an off flavor.
2. Wash and gently scrub your cucumbers to remove any dirt or debris. Cut about 1/4 inch (6 mm) from each end. Cut each cucumber in half, and place in a large bowl.
3. Next, combine 2 1/2 cups water with the vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, and spices in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the brine to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes.
4. Pour the brine over the cucumbers. Cover the bowl lightly with a cloth and allow to cool for one hour. Transfer the pickles to refrigerator-bound containers, cover with a lid, and refrigerate.
5. Your pickles will need at least 24 hours to absorb the flavors of the spices. For the zestiest, best-tasting results, wait for one week, at which point the flavor will be much more pronounced. Quick Persian Pickles will keep for four weeks in the refrigerator.
If you make your own quick pickles, share a photo with us in the Etsy Labs Flickr group.
Thank you to Ashley English and Lark Books for sharing this project with us. For more tips and recipes like this one, check out the book Canning & Preserving With Ashley English, available from Amazon or an independent bookstore near you.