I made some refrigerator pickles this week. Those are great if you want to add some zing to your basic cucumbers but don’t quite enjoy the full flavor of dill pickles. They are super mild, slightly salty, not at all vinegary and very refreshing. It’s also wonderful for those people who planted way too many cucumbers, but their lettuce crop is not quite ready, and their pressure canner is still collecting dust on a store shelf (sigh, that’s me).
My husband is not crazy about pickles and even he liked this recipe. And by not crazy I mean that whenever we get a pickle with a meal, I am the one who eats it. I am the pickle monster! Once I get my hands on a canner you should expect a ton of canning recipes, like pickled zuchini, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant salads, middle-eastern salsas, you name it. When I was a little kid, my mom canned pretty much everything in sight, and I intend to continue this tradition.
Back to the refrigerator pickles though. We used to make them every summer for a light refreshing snack. They are ready overnight and all you need is some ingredients that are already either in your refrigerator or growing in your garden. Mason jars are also not required.
Here is what you need to make some fridge pickles:
- 4-5 mid-size cucumbers
- 2 cloves of galic
- Several sprigs of dill (I like dill so I use about 1 per cucumber)
- 4 peppercorns
- 3 tablespoons of salt (any kind will do)
- Some boiling water
Heat resistant container
First, cut up your cucumbers into spears and put them in your container. I used a stoneware bowl that is usually reserved for heating up milk and making yogurt. You can use a jar, a ceramic bowl, whatever can withstand boiling water poured directly into it and is not made out of unsealed metal, because it will corrode.
Then slice up some garlic, don’t crush it. Drop your dill (chop it up or use full sprigs) and your peppercorns in. Shake the contents up so the contents distribute more or less evenly.
Boil some water, enough to cover the cucumbers in your container. Mix the boiling water with salt. My mom didn’t specify the exact amount of salt needed. “It needs to be saltier than your normal soup”, in her own words. Her recipes are always like that, but I guess that’s how family recipes work, right? I had to play around with the amounts of salt and came to about 3 tablespoons. Use less if you are not a fan of sodium.
Once the salt dissolves, pour the water onto the cucumbers. Cover the container and leave it on the counter to cool. You can transfer it to the fridge later to store overnight.
That’s it! You can enjoy some refrigerator pickles the very next morning. They can get a bit too salty if you leave them in the brine for much longer. But even then you can just rinse off the spear under running water. Dill, pepper and garlic flavor will still remain in the flesh. The salt mostly collects on the cucumber skin.
I hope you enjoy mild and refreshing refrigerator pickles! I’ve been having one every day and plan to also put them in my beet potato salad this weekend. Sounds intriguing? Stay tuned, I will post the recipe!