Friday, July 18, 2008

Martha's Refrigerator Pickles

I didn't select this recipe from Martha Stewart because I'm particularly in love with it. In fact, this is the first time I've made it. But it does represent a certain variety of pickling--brining the cukes and then refrigerating. There's no canning or long life involved.

As you can see, I used cucumbers that had grown somewhat beyond the usual pickling size. You can tell from the yellowing skins. You have to be vigilant where cucumbers are concerned or they'll grow to football size before you know it.

This recipe calls for two pounds of pickling cucumbers. I halved it, which yielded one quart-size jar. Enough for now, I'd say. We're still collecting cucumbers for other recipes. But here's the original recipe as published in Martha Stewart Living.

2 pounds kirby cucumbers

3 tablespoons coarse salt

2 cups distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon dill seed

4 garlic cloves

2 bunches fresh dill, coarsely chopped

Wash the cucumbers, then cut them into 1/2-inch round. Transfer the slices to a colander set in a large bowl. Toss them well with the salt and refrigerate one hour.

Rinse the cucumbers well and drain. Pat them dry with paper towels and transfer to a large bowl.

Bring 3 cups water, the vinegar, dill seed and garlic to a boil in a sauce pan. Reduce heat and simmer 4 minutes, then remove from heat and allow mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.

Add chopped dill to cucumber slices and toss together. Pour in brine. Let cool completely--about 30 minutes--then transfer mixture to airtight containers and refrigerate at least 1 week before eating. The pickles will last another three weeks.

If you make these pickles, do let us know how they turn out.


aka frank said...

I make pretty much the same version of Ice Box Cukes...I add a slice of ginger, some mustard seed, peppercorns, only one clove of garlic, maybe some thai or serano peppers. Makes a great treat. Variations include using red wine or cider vinegar. So simple. 1lb to one quart ratio is correct.

Ed Bruske said...

AKA, I like the idea of ginger in the brine, as well as the peppers. We have some very fruity jalapenos in the garden this year. I'll give it a try next batch.