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How-Tuesday: Quick Persian Pickles

Jul 3, 2012

by Ashley English handmade and vintage goods


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.

More Things to Make | Spicy Zucchini Pickles

2 Featured Comments

  • wheatleypaperworks

    M Wheatley from wheatleypaperworks said 8 years ago Featured

    I've been canning since I was a little girl helping my mother. These days I have my own family to provide wholesome nourishment for and I relish (!) the arrival of the cukes at my farmer's market every summer. I love to see the wisdom of our parents and grandparents become "cool" again. Happy canning.

  • PopLoveCouture

    Shai Wallach from PopLoveCouture said 8 years ago Featured

    These look fantastic! We just discovered how to pickle the other day and it's fantastic! I love any chance to make something yourself, particularly when you know exactly what goes into it. With so much preservatives, GMOs and who knows what else in our food - it's really time to get back to our roots (particularly the ones in our gardens!)


  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 8 years ago

    Perfect for summer! Will definitely be trying this :)

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye from VintageEye said 8 years ago

    Picklicious! :)

  • wheatleypaperworks

    M Wheatley from wheatleypaperworks said 8 years ago Featured

    I've been canning since I was a little girl helping my mother. These days I have my own family to provide wholesome nourishment for and I relish (!) the arrival of the cukes at my farmer's market every summer. I love to see the wisdom of our parents and grandparents become "cool" again. Happy canning.

  • thelittlemarket

    Debbie from thelittlemarket said 8 years ago

    Great summer recipe!!! Thank you!!

  • StringBeardCraftery

    Stephanie from StringBeardCraftery said 8 years ago

    I learned how to can this past summer. I have yet to make pickles, but this recipe just might be the motivation I was looking for to start pickling! Now if only my cucumber plants would start producing!!

  • LiliDMagpieCreations

    Lisa Giddings from LiliDMagpieCreations said 8 years ago

    Congrats on the feature and the book!!! The recipe sounds like a must try for those of use who are canning challenged! :)

  • badamczyk

    Beata Adamczyk from RedPointTailor said 8 years ago

    It is really tastefull ... and it is sign of summer ...

  • AvasYellowRainBoots

    April Foss from AvasYellowRainBoots said 8 years ago

    I'm pickled pink by this recipe!!!

  • lemonswithapea

    Robin Plemmons from lemonswithapea said 8 years ago

    Wonderful. Everything you do is delightful, Ashley. You make me want to go pickle some shit. I mean, not literal shit. I just grossed myself out. I'm going to stop typing words now.

  • amadams26

    Ashley English said 8 years ago

    robin! i love you! don't pickle that! pickle this!

  • imogenskyefreeman

    Imogen Skye Freeman from InkPaintings said 8 years ago

    I LOVE PICKLES!!!!!! :D My favourite recipes are all lacto-fermented, though. Distilled white vinegar makes me ill... Anyway, I ferment/pickle any crunchy veggie, my family's favourite being sliced broccoli stems. First a light rinse (no scrubbing- all that white film is lacto-baccili and they are such beautiful cooperators in our bodies!), slice, then pack tightly into a jar, add unrefined salt (I prefer Himalayan rock, but sea salt works too), fill with water to within an inch of the top, then place a piece of muslin or just the canning jar top without the ring on and leave it in a dark, dry corner to ferment. I have also used bale-lidded jars and sealed them, and the gas forms a seal that doesn't allow air in, but the bale allows excess gas to escape. Perfect. I cannot WAIT to have a fermenting cellar! The spice-mix in this recipe looks fabulous. :) I've never put fennel in- but I will NOW! Thanks. :)

  • ErikaPrice

    Erika from ErikaPrice said 8 years ago

    Oooh - tasty!

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 8 years ago

    Looks good!

  • RPMKreations

    Mama Bekz Komp from RPMKreations said 8 years ago

    I must give it a try! Yum.

  • CarpetShopPrincess

    Katie Koshy from carpetshopprincess said 8 years ago

    I never met a pickle I didn't like! However, if you want to be athentic Persian, skip the pickling and put the Persian cucumbers out alongside fruit in your fruitbowl. Or, after making these pickles, make Persian Salad Olivieh which is the bestest egg/chicken/potato salad you'll ever taste.

  • LineaLina

    Susanne Major from LineaLina said 8 years ago

    Yummy! I have to try that!

  • yomarismillan

    Golden Hearts MILLAN from AgapeArts said 8 years ago


  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts said 8 years ago

    YAY! I love pickles. Great recipe.

  • VoleedeMoineaux
  • HavenClean

    Kayce White from HomeIntoHaven said 8 years ago

    Quick and easy pickles are the ticket!

  • verdigreen

    azie from verdigreen said 8 years ago

    In LOVE with Persian Pickles - thanks for this recipe! Can't wait to try it.

  • BlackStar

    Katie McClanahan from WearYourWild said 8 years ago

    So nice to see Ashley featured. :) Going to Pin this one for when the cukes come in.

  • linenlaceandthread

    Gretchen from linenlaceandthread said 8 years ago

    It´s crazy that I found here on etsy an persian recipe. I just ordered tea, spices, sweets and more from my favourite persian onlinestore this morning! I will definetly try it! Thanks for sharing....

  • jiorji

    jiorji from jiorji said 8 years ago


  • gilstrapdesigns

    Debra Gilstrap from gilstrapdesigns said 8 years ago

    These look so good and I just love pickles!

  • guziks

    Stephanie from Phylogeny said 8 years ago

    Well, I didn't have a hankering before reading this, but now... all bets are off, and I need pickles!! :)

  • LoveButtons

    Julia K Walton from FireHorseVintageHQ said 8 years ago

    These look delicious. I will have a go at the recipe once our cucumbers get around to maturing: they are only an inch long at the moment :o/

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 8 years ago


  • Karenhugheskreations

    Karen Hughes from Karenhugheskreations said 8 years ago

    I love making pickles and canning I can't wait for my cucumbers in my garden to be ready so I can try this recipe!

  • HelloShoes

    HelloShoes from HelloShoes said 8 years ago

    Yum thank for this. As I am a pickle lover

  • PattiTrostle

    Patti Trostle from PattiTrostle said 8 years ago


  • windycitynovelties

    Windy City Novelties said 8 years ago

    Great recipe!

  • thepapermoonstudio

    thepapermoonstudio from thepapermoonstudio said 8 years ago

    Sounds great!

  • maryjill

    Mary Jill Lemieur from maryjill said 8 years ago


  • TrishsTreasures92

    Trish W. from TTsDollBoutique said 8 years ago

    Mmmmmm sounds so yummy! Great article :-)

  • BayoulandBeads

    Peggy Calahan from BayoulandBeads said 8 years ago

    These sound delish!! Thank you!

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 8 years ago

    For pickling cucumbers also very good to include dill :O)

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 8 years ago

    Thanks ! Great recipe!

  • aBreathofFrenchair

    Elizabeth from ABreathOfFrenchAir said 8 years ago

    Yummy! I love pickles! Now I am sad I didn't grow any this year.

  • ShoeClipsOnly

    kathy johnson from ShoeClipsOnly said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the easy recipe!!

  • PopLoveCouture

    Shai Wallach from PopLoveCouture said 8 years ago Featured

    These look fantastic! We just discovered how to pickle the other day and it's fantastic! I love any chance to make something yourself, particularly when you know exactly what goes into it. With so much preservatives, GMOs and who knows what else in our food - it's really time to get back to our roots (particularly the ones in our gardens!)

  • auntsuesoldnewlovely

    auntsuesoldnewlovely from AuntSuesVintage said 8 years ago

    Oh Ashley, I've been using my old brine from a freshly devoured jar of pickles and have added newly sliced cucs...we wait ummm maybe 2 days! LOL Yum..... InkPaintings...a new local etsy gal makes the lacto pickles...I'll be seeing her soon and trying those!

  • spiderbunny

    Jessa Cady from Spiderbunny said 8 years ago

    Yum, I would love to try this! Thanks for posting ^ . ^

  • fbstudiovt

    Laura Hale from FoundBeautyStudioArt said 8 years ago

    Refrigerator pickles are the BEST! It's a super simple way to use/preserve produce from the summer gardens. I also heartily recommend pickling the abundance of summer radishes and making dilly beans with the ridiculous amount of green beans jumping off the vines. By the way, those dilly beans and their brine make one heck of a dirty martini :)

  • DeathByVintage

    Jypyse from DeathByVintage said 8 years ago

    I am trying this one. I once made over 52 quarts of sweet and 52 quarts of dill from a 1920's recipe....they were delish and lasted 2 years. I bought the cukes for only $15.00! That is a great investment. I had to lime them in the bathtub and my kids were a little ripe after 3 days....but hey. It was worth it!

  • ACupOfSparkle

    ACupOfSparkle from ACupOfSparkle said 8 years ago

    One of my favorites! Thanks for sharing it.

  • pinksnakejewelry

    pinksnakejewelry from pinksnakejewelry said 8 years ago

    Looks and Sounds Yummy!!!!!

  • cutezyclips

    Cutezy Clips from CutezyClips said 8 years ago

    My mother makes the best pickles in the world - we make tens of jars at a time. We probably have 40+ jars of pickles sitting in the pantry. i guess we'll never be buying pickles again! That's what this article reminded me of...

  • SusanMKennedyDesigns

    SusanMKennedyDesigns said 8 years ago

    Hmm....Just happen to have 5 lbs of pickling cukes in the fridge bought at the farmer's market on Saturday. Was going to make all bread and butters but I will give these a try! Thanks

  • MakeMeUnique

    Tara from CrowdCapture said 8 years ago

    Really nice may try it

  • SweetMeas

    Sarah Meas from SweetMeas said 8 years ago

    I love a spicy pickle too, This recipe sounds interesting I would have never thought to add cloves to a pickle? I wonder if apple cider vinegar would throw this all off? Going to try this as soon as my cucumbers come in.

  • telepelekids

    ilanit bronstein from telepelekids said 8 years ago

    I love pickles!!!with salt or vinger,love the indian pickles with lemon or mango,,,yummy!!!

  • taterrounds

    Tater Rounds from TaterRoundsBeauty said 8 years ago

    Yummy I'm going to make me some today !!!!!! Happy 4th of July Etsy friends :)

  • maclancy

    Marianne Clancy from maclancy said 8 years ago


  • themefragrance

    Theme Fragrance from themefragrance said 8 years ago

    nom nom!

  • PhoebeDea

    Phoebe Baker from PhoebeDea said 8 years ago

    I've never pickled but this looks completely doable to me! And, I'm growing 10 lemon cucumber plants right now, so I should have lots to pickle soon! I can't wait to check out your books. :o) Phoebe

  • alwam

    alwam from teacupcastle said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. I am definitely going to try this!

  • GoldenSpiralDesigns

    Lola Ocian from GoldenSpiralDesigns said 8 years ago

    A Pickle Itch that must be Scratched! Love it. Yum! Thanks for sharing!

  • vintagejenta

    Sarah Wassberg from vintagejenta said 8 years ago

    A fantastic little Israeli place in our area serves their gyros with sour pickle slices. Any chance this is something similar??? I love those things.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 8 years ago

    Tasty! I must say I'm a sucker for pickled onions, lovely!

  • girlindustries

    Katy from girlindustries said 8 years ago

    I can't wait a week, I want some right now!

  • yektajebeli

    yekta jebeli from yektajebeli said 8 years ago

    Hi Iranian like pickle so much I want to say something about mint in all of our pickle:D we buy fresh mint and dry it in front of sun and after that we make it powder:) we have a kind of pickle that is pickle of okra :D it is so delicious.we make it with winger and salt and mint and okra:)

  • WickedDarling

    WickedDarling from WickedDarling said 8 years ago

    Yummmmmmm! Can't wait to try these! Thanks for sharing! :)

  • nickiefrye

    Nickie Noel from SpunkVintage said 8 years ago

    Totally trying this!

  • winnieryan

    Winnie Ryan said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the recipe! I regularly do a hot and sweet bread and butter pickle, which is bread and butter pickles with about 4-6 chili arbole added to the spicy syrup. This sounds like a cross between a sour and bread and butter pickle which to me seems wonderful. Looking forward to the first batch.

  • thevintageorangejar

    Mandy Bradford from TheVintageOrangeJar said 8 years ago

    I'm going to try these this week! I wonder if this work with pole beans?? Hmmm....

  • lizhutnick

    Liz Hutnick from LizHutnick said 8 years ago

    Yum! More articles like this, please! :)

  • kitiyapalaskas

    Kitiya Palaskas from kitiyapalaskas said 8 years ago

    Amazing! Thank you! I will definitely be trying this out this weekend.

  • Powerofflower

    Lorena Balea-Raitz from LorenasInkDesigns said 8 years ago

    Cool recipe I will give it a try :)

  • Powerofflower

    Lorena Balea-Raitz from LorenasInkDesigns said 8 years ago

    Yum - I have to try it! Happy Weekend!

  • seikashop

    wooldolls from wooldolls said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! I'll try it!

  • vegasblingrocks

    Judy Murphy from vegasblingrocks said 8 years ago

    I'm going to surprise my Persian granddaughter with this recipe! We love pickles!!

  • ezrinjaz

    Diana V from Penguinuity said 8 years ago

    I just made some refrigerator pickles this week that require zero cooking. My best friend's dad has been making them for years and just mixes the vinegar with water and salt, mixes to combine, then stuffs the jars with spices and whatever veggie is going in, pours the brine over to fill, shakes and sticks in the fridge. After an hour he'll start munching on them, but they start being best after 24 hours.

  • songbird58

    Tina from songbird58 said 8 years ago

    Sounds delish!

  • passtheteapot

    J.T. Siems from SweetTeaApothecary said 8 years ago

    Omg. I love pickles. In Seattle a bunch of restaurants have a daily pickle jar with various veggies such as carrots, bell peppers, pearl onions the list goes on. I've made my own a few recipe I just throw in every ingredient I think is delicious. Definitely going to try this!!

  • liddysopretty

    liddy sopretty from liddysopretty said 8 years ago


  • yippeevintage

    yippeevintage from yippeevintage said 8 years ago

    My grandpa made fantastic bread & butter pickles { xo grandpa! } and I've developed a taste for all kinds of pickled deliciousness! Thank you for this quick and spicy pickle recipe... I love so many different pickled veggies and this one sounds wonderful! I found a simple pickled ginger recipe online and have been enjoying it for months. Pickling is a dramatic and beautiful way to enjoy a bountiful garden!

  • socuteofme

    Breanne Faouzi from BreanneFaouzi said 8 years ago

    I made these last night and they are amazing! I'll definitely keep this recipe! Thanks!

  • jingyancheng

    Lulu Cheng from Yimoartstudio said 5 years ago

    i can do chinese style ,i will try west style later;)

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