At this morning's farmer's market, however, it hit me that I was practically swimming in a sea of fresh, gorgeous pickle-worthy produce. Instead of buying another jar (or four... as I may or may not have planned to do) of those pickles that had me at hello last weekend, I filled my bag with pickling cucumbers, red onions, hot peppers, and bunches of herbs, enough to make a ton of pickles, and for well under twelve bucks, at that. As soon as I got home, I whipped up a jar of fridge pickles and stuck 'em in the -- you guessed it -- fridge to do their thing for later. They were already eyes-rolling-back-amazing by evening. They'll technically keep for up to a month in the the fridge, getting better as their flavors continue to meld, but, let's face it, they won't actually last that long because we're going to eat them all first. (I'll give them a week, at most.)
You've gotta try these. Adjust the herbs to your liking -- I used basil this week because the bunches at the market were so aromatic I just couldn't pass them up -- as well as the heat; three large jalapeños may be way too much for some people. (Like you, Mom, if you're reading this.) Aaron and I actually like a lot of spice, and we enjoy pickled jalapeños themselves, but if you prefer your foodstuff more mild, try using just one pepper, or a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Improvising with these will be fine, and whatever your flavor, you're sure to love the results. These are perfect summer fridge pickles, I tell you. And they're easy to make, at that.
What You'll Need
- 8 to 10 pickling cucumbers, peeled in stripes and sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 large jalapeño peppers (optional -- start with one if you prefer your pickles more mild, or use about a teaspoon of red pepper flakes)
- 2-3 Tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs: I used basil, but also recommend cilantro and mint
- About 12 whole cloves
- 5 to 6 bay leaves
- 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped dill, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
What You'll Do
- Layer the cucumbers, onions, chopped herbs and peppers in a jar that can hold them all (this recipe makes about 2 quarts) and that seals tightly. (Don't cover the jar yet, though.)
- Combine the vinegar, cloves, bay leaves, dill, sugar, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Pour into the jar with the cucumbers.
- Place the lid on the jar, close it up well and shake it. Don't worry if your liquid doesn't reach the top of your veggies; it will later.
- Let pickles sit in fridge, re-shaking the jar every hour or so to make sure everything's well mixed.
- The pickles will be ready to taste 4 to 6 hours later, but will get better with more time, and will keep in the fridge for about a month.