‘Tis the season…
…to pickle just about anything you can fit in a mason jar!
Got a peck of peppers? A pint of beans? A couple of cukes? Pickle ‘em up!
The beautiful thing about pickles is that they give you a lot of flexibility. You can utilize a huge variety of produce and seasonings, work in batches of any size, and choose to refrigerate, can, or ferment. Pickling is pretty much a gardener’s best friend when it comes to creatively utilizing and preserving the harvest.
Now, I will be the the first person to go and on about the wonders of pickled rhubarb or pickled radishes, but deep down, my heart really belongs to the classic dill cucumber pickle. You really can’t beat those perfect little garlicky bites–they’re packed with incredible homegrown and homemade flavor–so when the cucumbers started to come in last week, there was little doubt that a good pickle or two was in the works.
This quick dill pickle recipe is perfect for when the cucumbers are just getting started and you only have enough to fill a pint jar or two, but it could easily be adapted for larger quantities as well.
The flavor profile is pretty straight-up classic, but the mild heat from the red pepper flakes and the extra depth of flavor from using apple cider vinegar instead of plain white vinegar kicks it up a bit (a few years ago my mom wisely told me that distilled white vinegar is for cleaning and apple cider vinegar is for cooking; I’ve stayed pretty true to that advice ever since and have yet to be disappointed by the results). As it is written, this recipe is mildly spicy, but you certainly could take it further in that direction with more red pepper flakes or even mincing a whole serrano or jalapeno pepper if that’s what you have on hand.
Obviously quick pickles are not shelf stable for long-term storage, but when they taste this good, they won’t be around for longer than a week anyway!
Quick Dill Pickles
3-4 medium-sized pickling cucumbers, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh dill
2-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 cup apple cider vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon mustard seed
Thinly slice cumbers and pack them into a clean pint jar. Add fresh dill and red pepper flakes and set aside while you prepare the brine.
Add the remaining ingredients to a small sauce pan and simmer over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and pour brine into the jar until the cucumbers are covered (if it appears that you will have a little extra liquid, be sure to spoon in as much of the garlic and mustard seed as you can to maximize the flavor).
Cover the jar and set it aside to cool to room temperature, then transfer the jar into the refrigerator. Pickles are ready and tasty in as little as 1 hour, but if you wait closer to 12-24 hours, they will be even better!
- These pages are dedicated to all things home gardening. From planning a garden to preserving the harvest, you'll find practical and creative ideas to satisfy your sense of garden adventure!
- tomatoes recipes peppers seed starting preservation Salsa Week seasons Grow It Forward 12 Weeks of Garden Inspiration raspberries rhubarb photo post garden projects heirloom Photo of the Day garden planning garden plans broccoli yard projects onions lettuce seeds recipe seed saving herbs fall beans canning radishes strawberries salsa tomatillo spring cucumber seed garlic transplanting A Seed Starting Diary kale dry beans pumpkin community garden varieties winter frost planting guest post scallions basil spinach Garden Planning 101 squash soil kohlrabi red romaine asparagus Garden Photography 101 Minnesota Locavore beets corn beneficial insects mint garden harvest totals pickling vertical gardening pollinators Three Sisters squirrels indoor gardening flowers garden zucchini potting up variegated tomato cabbage house projects seed starting mix seed starting containers gardening with kids organic gardening garden clean up garden pests watermelon sunflowers resources Holiday Gift Guide Good Garden Reads horseradish jelly giveaways Black Hungarian apples onion fall garden Opalka seedling care pumpkins gourds carrots ground cherries cucurbits reader question compost jam seedlings botanical gardens San Francisco parsnip rainbow chard Grow It Forwards vacation shallots brussels sprouts brassicas soil blocker soil blocks sage plant markers grapes patty pan squash horseradish root dividing rhubarb lemon olive cantaloupe slugs organic pest control jalapeno tomatillos seasonal preparing for winter harvest mexican sour gherkin zinnia pruning overwintering parsnips ground cherry peat rue herb wildlife-friendly garden wrens tomato Measuring Up starter pots coir garden organizataion garden inspiration San Marzano quinoa mulch watering Year in Review amaranth tomato blight paste tomatoes Federle Red Romaine Lettuce social media garden beds snow birthday garden musings Big Mama Amish Paste Anna Russian Tomato litchi tomato litchi tomatoes peas container gardening Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds oregano mojito organic Building Better Soil seed starting timeline disease pests John Denver love rapsberries peanuts pepper mesclun trellising winter sowing yellow pear printable seed packet Extending the Season