My family has been experimenting lately with pickling. Pickling cucumbers, green beans and carrots. It started because of our affection for banh mi sandwiches. Somehow homemade pickles just taste better for these sandwiches. Not too tart or spicy. Plus I needed to find a reason to use all the old sauce and pickle jars I’ve collected. This recipe makes 3 large (about 18 – 24 oz.) jars of pickled veggies. I usually do one of each veggie. They’ll last about a week in the refrigerator, but ours usually don’t last that long, between sandwich toppings and lunchbox additions.
When choosing cucumbers to pickle I like the small Persian or kirby cucumbers. These have less seeds and a more mild flavor than garden or American slicing cucumbers. You can buy glass jars online or at the hardware store. Even better clean out glass sauce and pickle jars to recycle and make your own. These make great gifts too. As long as they have a tight fitting lid, they’ll work well. Happy pickling!
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups distilled white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
4 teaspoons pickling or kosher salt
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon peppercorns (black, pink or variety)
¾ teaspoon dill seeds
2 cups hot water
2 pounds (about 6) Persian cucumbers, quartered lengthwise (or combination carrots, green beans and cucumbers)
6 sprigs fresh dill
In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil, reduce the heat so the water simmers and add the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolves. Remove from the heat.
In 3 clear 1-quart jars, place two sprigs of dill. Divide the seeds and peppercorns between the jars. Using a slotted spoon, remove the garlic from the brine. Place a few cloves in each jar. Then pack the jars full of cucumbers. (You can also slip in some carrots, scallions or green beans, cauliflower and chilies). You want them to be tightly stuffed.
Bring the brine back to a boil. Remove from heat and carefully transfer liquid into a glass pitcher or large measuring cup with spout. You may have to do in batches but this makes it easier to pour in jars. Pour hot liquid over the vegetables to cover completely. Let cool, then screw on jar lids and refrigerate. The pickles will taste good in just a few hours, and even better after a day or two.