Cool, briny pickles straight from the fridge are one of the simplest pleasures of summer. Quick pickling is also a brilliant solution for preserving a plethora of vegetables from the market or your garden.
What Is a Quick Pickle?
- Quick pickles are also known as refrigerator pickles. They are simply vegetables that are pickled in a vinegar, water, and salt (sometimes sugar, too) solution and stored in the refrigerator. Quick pickles don’t develop the deep flavour that fermented pickles do, but they also only require a few days in the brine before they can be enjoyed. Quick pickles also do not require canning when refrigerated.
What You Need
1 pound fresh vegetables, such cucumbers, carrots, green beans, summer squash, cherry tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill, or rosemary (optional)
1 to 2 teaspoons whole spices, such black peppercorns, coriander, or mustard seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon dried herbs or ground spices (optional)
2 cloves garlic, smashed or sliced (optional)
1 cup vinegar, such as white, apple cider, or rice
1 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt or 2 teaspoons pickling salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
2 wide-mouth pint jars with lids
Canning funnel (optional)
- Prepare the jars: Wash 2 wide-mouth pint jars, lids, and rings in warm soapy water and rinse well. Set aside to dry, or dry completely by hand.
- Prepare the vegetables: Wash and dry the vegetables. Peel carrots. Trim the end of beans. Cut vegetables into desired shapes and sizes.
- Add the flavorings: Divide the herbs, spices, or garlic you are using into the jars.
- Add the vegetables: Pack the vegetables into the jars, making sure there is a 1/2 inch of space from the rim of the jar to the tops of the vegetables. Pack them in as tightly as you can without smashing.
- Make the pickling liquid: Combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar (if using) in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the brine over the vegetables, filling each jar to within 1/2 inch of the top. You might not use all the brine.
- Remove air bubbles: Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more pickling brine if necessary.
- Seal the jars: Place the lids over the jars and screw on the rings until tight.
- Cool and refrigerate: Let the jars cool to room temperature. Store the pickles in the refrigerator. The pickles will improve with flavor as they age — try to wait at least 48 hours before cracking them open.
- Storage: These pickles are not canned. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. If you process and can the jars, they can be stored at room temperature unopened.