Quick pickles are so fun and easy to make; try this method once and you’ll be hooked! Especially in the summertime when you can go to the Farmers’ Market and get a giant bundle of kirbies for just a few dollars.
This method is very fluid, you can add just about any spice or veggie that you want. Here I’m using the traditional kirby cucumber (aka pickling cucumber) but you can “quick-pickle” just about any veggie you’d like – onions and peppers are delicious this way, too.
This is also a fun, easy, and inexpensive hostess gift to take to your next summer get together. Everyone will be impressed, but only you and I will know how easy it was (wink!).
Mason jars make perfect storage containers, in this recipe I’m using a quart-sized jar. You can use any size you’d like and can adjust your brine proportions accordingly.
Since we’re not using the traditional canning method here your quick pickles will need to be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 10-14 days (if they last that long).
There are infinite flavor combinations you can try – the below recipe is my absolute favorite. I normally grow my own dill but didn’t this year so I also scored a large piece of dill with a ton of flowering parts & dill weed for just around one dollar.
Farmers’ Market Quick Pickles
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
For the brine:
- 1 cup purified water
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon raw honey (local if possible)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 heaping tablespoon natural picking spice (I use this one and LOVE it – so worth ordering online)
For the jar:
- 6-8 kirby cucumbers, sliced any way you’d like (small thin rounds or spears are both great)
- 3-6 pieces of the flowering part of the dill plant (this is mostly for aesthetics)
- About a tablespoon of fresh dill weed (that’s the green leafy part of the plant that tastes so good)
- If you don’t have or can’t find any pickling spice, add 1/2 tablespoon whole peppercorns and extra fresh dill weed. If you can use a high-quality, natural pickling spice I HIGHLY recommend it, just skip anything that contains unnatural ingredients or preservatives.
- My pickling spice has a tiny bit of heat, if you want more kick add a few pinches of red pepper flakes to the brine. Mine is also salt-free, so be careful of how much salt you use if you use a different one.
- You can also use all distilled white vinegar or any other type of vinegar, I just like the taste of the combo above.
Method: Add all of the brine ingredients to a saucepan and turn on medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and stir just until the salt is dissolved and remove from the heat to prevent the liquid from reducing. Wash and prepare all produce. I use a handheld ceramic mandoline to thinly slice the cucumbers, if you do this be very careful with the mandoline. Wash your mason jar with very hot soapy water and dry it. Add the cucumbers and dill to the jar, adding a few dill flowers every few inches to make it look pretty. Fill the jar to about two and a half inches to the top. Pour the hot brine into the jar, covering the cucumbers and making sure you get all of the solid pickling spices into the jar. Leave about an inch and a half to two inches at the top (the cucumbers can give off water so they need room to expand). Careful here, the jar will be HOT-use a towel to seal the jar with a mason jar lid, and shake the jar to combine. Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to cool and let the flavors combine. Store in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.
Have you tried this method yet? Let other readers know your recipes and tips in the comments below to spread the love.