Sunday, July 18, 2010

Refrigerator Pickles

There's a bar up by my lake cabin out in the middle of nowhere called The Pickle Factory. In the basement there are rows and rows of pickled things for sale. I bought a jar of spicy pickled mixed veggies (red pepper, cauliflower, green beans, and carrots). It was a nice addition to my bloody marys!

But ever since then I've been dreaming of making my own pickles, because six bucks for a pint of spicy pickled veggies is crazy! I knew I could do it for much less, and without all the mess of actual canning.

Today at the Kingfield Farmer's Market, I got some pickling cucumbers for $2 or $3 (can't remember which). I made these dead simple pickles and they're an excellent addition to a simple no-cook summer supper. Keep in mind, though, these are not spicy - they are very sweet. I thought I didn't like sweet pickles, but I was wrong. These are yummy.

My favorite way to eat these pickles is with hummus. Pickles and hummus on a sandwich, in a wrap, or just on crackers. It's a combination I learned at PDT, the bar hidden behind a telephone booth inside Crif Dogs restaurant in the East Village NYC. Cass and I went there in 2008 when she interviewed for a job (which she naturally nailed and was offered). While sitting at the bar enjoying a cocktail, we ordered the veggie dog - and it came smothered in hummus and pickles and was DELICIOUS. Brilliant.

Refrigerator Pickles, adapted from MyRecipes
5-6 cups sliced cucumbers (small "kirby" cukes work best but I've used regular cukes and they'll work too).
1 large sweet onion
4 cloves garlic
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped

Slice your cucumbers, onion, and garlic finely. Use a knife, mandoline, or zip 'em through the slicer attachment on your food processor. Place into a large bowl.

Boil all the remaining ingredients (except dill) in a saucepan for 1 full minute and pour over your veggies. Let cool to room temperature, then add dill and refrigerate.

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