Just want a small amount of pickles with no cooking or processing? This recipe will fix you up with 3 to 4 half pint jars in about 10-15 minutes. The hard part is waiting the week until they are done! The recipe below calls for carrots, but you can use any fresh vegetable--my favorite is (canned) baby corn, but cucumber, green or jalapeño peppers, green beans or even legumes like chickpeas also work. I like making four different kinds with each batch I make. I use half pint canning jars with the plastic screw-on lids that you can buy separately, but you could use any leftover glass jar you have around, as long as it is sterilized before you use it.
- 2 cups water
- 1⁄4 cup vinegar (I use plain white, but cider vinegar also works)
- 1 tablespoon pickling salt
- 4 sprigs dill
- 1 garlic clove, split in half
- 3 -4 bay leaves (optional)
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds (optional)
- 1⁄2-1 tablespoon black peppercorns (optional)
- chili flakes (to taste, depending on if you like your pickles hot.)
- 1 -2 lb carrots (the amount depends on how they are cut and how tightly you pack the jars.) or 1 -2 lb cucumber (the amount depends on how they are cut and how tightly you pack the jars.)
- To make the brine, put water, vinegar, and salt in a small saucepan and heat to boiling. Remove from heat. (You can skip this step, but then your pickles will take longer to mature.).
- Pack each sterilized jar with prepared carrots, 1 sprig of dill, 1 clove of garlic, 1 bay leaf, and some of the mustard seeds, peppercorns, and chili flakes. I like to use miniature baby carrots (Green Giant kind) and just leave them whole. You can sterilize your jars by running them through the dishwasher and then not touching the insides or lip again.
- Pour the hot brine into the jars, filling the jar up to the inner lip (about 1/2" from the top). Screw on a lid and let them sit out on the counter for an hour or two to cool, then put in the fridge.
- Your pickles will be ready in about a week, depending on how thick the veggies are. Baby corn is usually ready in just a few days, but baby carrots take at least a week for the flavor to get to the center.
I had never done refrigerator pickles, and this was a good recipe to use for my first time. I left out the peppercorns and red pepper flakes because I didn't want it too spicy. I'm glad I did, because it still turned out kind of spicy. I sliced my garlic instead of just cutting it in half because I wanted a lot of garlic flavor. I recommend this recipe and will be using it again next summer!
I made a double recipe of this about two weeks ago. I used store-bought pickling spice. I thought the flavor was okay for these. My main advice is to double the amount of broth that you are planning to use because when I made this and thought that I stuffed the jars of carrots and cucumbers full, I found that I had to make another recipe to cover my vegetables. I believe it is easier to pour a bit down the drain than to keep preparing more broth. Other than that, I was pretty happy with the results. Thanks for posting, Yobittles, I'll use this again.
I have used this recipe several times now and my pickles come out perfect! I do like to add a little more garlic and vinegar too!