My Red Fire Farm CSA share really piled on the cucumbers this week. Two weeks ago, with my one pound share of cucumbers, I made enough Tzatziki to eat it every night for a week, feed it to many friends, and still threw some out because I was tired of eating it. This week, with two pounds of cucumbers and a five foot tall stalk of fresh dill, which prompted many curious glances from fellow T riders, I decided to take a break from my favorite greek sauce and try my hand at making pickles.
Given that it was a sauna in my apartment on Sunday, there way no way I was going to stand in front of a hot stove of boiling jars, so canning pickles for the shelf was out of the question. Instead, I turned to a recipe for refrigerator pickles, which yields the same result except needing to be kept in the fridge.
Adapted from Red Fire Farm
1.5 lbs pickling cucumbers
1.5 cups white vinegar
2.5 cups cold water
1.5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1.5 teaspoons mustard seed
1.5 teaspoons whole peppercorns
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup fresh dill
5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Evenly divide the garlic, dill and cucumbers among four wide-mouthed pint jars.
Cut up the pickling cukes however you like, from slices to halves, but I’m partial to spears. Note, smaller slices soak up the flavor faster. Pack as many cucumbers into the jars as possible, even more than the recipe calls for if there’s space.
In a saucepan, mix together vinegar, water, red pepper flakes, salt, and mustard seed to make a brine. Bring this mixture to a boil and then let cool for a moment.
Fill jars to the top with the brine. Once filled, cover with a lid and shake to distribute the dill, garlic, and spices among the pickles. They’re best after a week in the refrigerator (or so they say) but I thought they were pretty delicious after only one day.