Hey there! My name is Julia and I blog over at La Petite Maison Verte, that's French for "The Little Green House." I am so excited to be guest-posting for Xiomara today since she is on vacation! She really deserves it, what with training for triathlons, raising two little girls and helping to run the family business, I'm not sure how she finds the time to blog too!
Xiomara and I are both food-lovers and I have a special place in my heart for fresh, in-season fruits and veggies - they should form the foundation of any healthy diet. Living and working in Tampa, I don't have the time (or the green thumb!) to be able to devote to growing my own vegetables, at least not right now, but I have more than enough variety to choose from when my husband and I make the trip out to the Parkesdale Market.
Lately, I've been seeing lots of pickling cucumbers gracing the market. These are some of my favorite cucumbers for their super-crisp texture, thin skin and mild flavor and I like to stock up on them this time of the year, both for salads and for homemade pickles. Pickling cucumbers are also called "Kirby" or "Liberty" and you'll recognize them from their bumpy exterior and small size.
The great thing about homemade pickles is that they are completely customizable. Add more or less garlic depending on your preference (I like lots of garlic!), decrease the amount of sugar if you don't like any sweetness to your dills, make half into spears and the other half into coins. It's entirely up to you and you can't really go wrong.
If you've been hesitant to try home canning in the past due to the specialized equipment required, then this is the recipe for you! You won't need any special equipment besides just a clean glass jar with a lid - that's it - an old pickle jar from the grocery store or a couple of saved peanut butter jars would work fine. These are refrigerator pickles so they must be kept in the refrigerator, not the pantry, and they're ready to eat in as little as 1 day but keep for at least two weeks in the fridge.
There is nothing better than fresh, homemade pickles to accompany hamburgers or hotdogs hot off the grill, and they're equally as good eaten icy-cold straight out of the refrigerator for a healthy snack. I hope you give these a try this summer!
Refrigerator Dill Pickles
makes 1 Quart
adapted from Bobby Flay
1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
3/4 teaspoon dill seeds
2 cups boiling water
2 pounds kirby cucumbers (sliced into ~1/4" thick coins, or lengthwise into spears)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped dill
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
special equipment: one clean, dry 32-oz jar (with a lid), OR two 16-oz jars, OR a large clean plastic resealable container with a lid.
In a large, heatproof bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and dill seeds. Pour over the boiling water and stir until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Allow to cool fully to room temperature.
In a separate large bowl, add the cucumbers, chopped dill and the chopped garlic, toss well to ensure even distribution. Using a ladle or spoon, transfer the cucumbers, dill and garlic evenly into your jar(s), don't over-fill. Ladle over the brine to nearly fill the jar(s). Place lids on jars and tighten by hand, store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.