Pickles. Vinegary, sharp and crunchy. I love them. I think my first child was about 65% pickle in utero (and 35% bacon grilled cheese) because of all the delicious deli kosher dill pickles I ate when I was pregnant. And after having the pickle jar appetizer at Vintage in New Market, I went looking for refrigerator pickled vegetable recipes.
Smitten Kitchen has never steered me wrong, so I made her pickled vegetable slaw recipe with a few tweaks.I followed her ratios exactly, but increased the quantity by double. She calls for one batch of brine for 2 quart jars, I ended up making about one batch of brine for each quart jar of vegetables. The first time I made these pickles, I made a batch, poured what I had into the jars and then made another batch. And then another until I had enough to fill the jars.
Instead of shredding the vegetables into slaw, I left all the pieces chunky. The first time I did carrot sticks, but this time around I threw in baby carrots straight from the bag. I don’t quite have the knack for estimating how many vegetables will fit into the jars I want to fill, so I had to keep grabbing additional jars and eyeballing how much vinegar I had. In 6 wide mouth quart jars I fit 12 small cucumbers, 2 bags of baby carrots, about a pound of sugar snap peas, half a head of cauliflower, and one each red, yellow and orange bell peppers. I had some whole carrots I was going to cut into sticks and add too but ran out of room (and vinegar!).
Refrigerator Pickled Vegetables, adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Pickled Vegetable Sandwich Slaw
pickling mixture, per quart jar of raw, firm vegetables
1 c distilled white vinegar
4 T sugar
2 T kosher salt
2 T yellow mustard seeds
1 c cold water
Heat vinegar, sugar, salt and mustard seeds to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring only until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in water, bringing down the mixture’s temperature. Let cool to lukewarm.
Pour vinegar mixture over vegetables and refrigerate until needed. Lightly pickled in an hour, deliciously pickled in a day. They keep for at least a month in the fridge.
Notes: Since I was sextupling the recipe, I just used the entire jar of mustard seeds I had, so ~ half a cup. Kept the other ratios the same. Buy your vinegar at Costco. 4-6 cups is really quite a lot of vinegar to have on hand.
Next I’m trying these refrigerator dill pickles, because I think I need them in my life.
Morning Pickle Update!
So, I had a plate full of pickles for breakfast (well after I had finished my coffee) and I forgot how much the vegetables change over time in the jar. Right now, less than 24 hours after going in the brine, the cucumbers and cauliflower are deliciously tender. The snap peas and carrots are still more like vegetables with vinegary dressing on them, and the peppers are kind of in the middle. As they stay in the jar longer, I remember the carrots and snap peas being really really good, the peppers get sweetish, and the cucumbers just get deeper into their pickleness.
Side note: I would like to congratulate myself, I have talked about pickles all morning and I haven’t made one dirty joke! Not one! It’s almost like I’m an adult.