Updated: May 4
Making your own pickled fruits and vegetables is so easy and the result is so delicious.
Quick pickles are a great way to preserve your favorite flavors of any season with little effort. Pickled cucumbers are the most common quick pickle, but you can pickle a wide variety of fruits and vegetables: cherries, grapes, ramps, tomatoes, watermelon, string beans, carrots, plums, peaches, mushrooms, radish, ginger, and the list goes on.
Equipment: cutting board; chef's knife; wet and dry measuring cups; measuring spoons; colander; quart-size glass jar with lid
Pickling Ingredients: 1½ cups water
½ cup distilled white vinegar 1 cup granulated sugar 3 allspice
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon yellow or brown mustard seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon black telicherry peppercorns (optional)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Things to pickle with the brine above: 1 hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced 2 cups cherries, stems and stones removed
4 green tomatoes, cut into sixths
1 baby watermelon, quartered and sliced
1 pound of ramps; leaves removed
1 pound of string beans, trimmed
4 peaches, stones removed and halved
6 plums, stoned removed and halved
1. Place a small saucepan over medium-high heat and pour in the water, vinegar, and sugar. Add in the allspice, bay leaf, mustard seeds, and peppercorns. Simmer until the sugar is melted and the liquid is clear, approximately 5 minutes. Do not boil the liquid. Set aside to cool in a large glass jar.
"You may strain the the spices from the pickling liquid, or you may leave them there if you like. It's really a matter of preference."
2. Meanwhile, place the cucumbers (or whatever you are pickling) in a colander set on a dish or in the sink, and toss well to coat with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. After 30 minutes, rinse thoroughly in cold water and shake any excess liquid from the colander.
"ILOC tip: use a finely ground kosher or sea salt and opposed to a coarse granule so that the salt evenly disperses. Since the salt both seasons and wilts the product, it makes for the best tasting pickle."
3. Place the salted and rinsed cucumbers (or whatever you are pickling) in the glass jar with the pickling liquid. Place in the refrigerator tightly sealed for four hours or overnight before enjoying.
Store in the refrigerator tightly sealed for up to two weeks.