Many assume making pickles or pickled vegetables is a lengthy process (I initially imagined jars sitting in caves for months or something else medieval), but the reality is you can make really tasty pickles at home very quickly. Cucumbers are an obvious choice, but I’ve also been on a kick making pickled red onions and pickled radishes – and the simple process is the same for all.
To pickle a cucumber or veggie, you simply need to make a brine and can achieve pickled greatness after only an hour of soaking. The brine is not at all complicated either, and quickly achieved by bringing water, vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil. I’ve experimented with multiple brine recipes and this has emerged as the favorite:
1 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Distilled White Vinegar
1/2 Cup White Wine Vinegar
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 TBS Sugar
1 TBS Salt
When your pickling subject is chopped, speared, or sliced to your preference – place the vegetable in a large heat-proof bowl. Once the brine has come to a boil and the sugar and salt are completely dissolved, pour the liquid (and garlic) into the bowl covering the veggies (I generally let the brine cool for a minute or two so it’s not at a roaring boil and you don’t risk browning more sensitive veggies). Let the bowl sit on your countertop until the liquid is room temperature (about 1 hr) and you’re ready for tangy, crunchy, zesty pickles. Of course, along with the brine you can add additional spices and herbs such as mustard seeds and fresh dill.
Quick note: While boiling with the vinegar, your garlic may turn blue – this is totally normal, but feel free to add fresh garlic during the jarring stage.
While you’ll want to eat your pickles right away, they make for a great snack and have a very long shelf life in the fridge. Ball makes great canning mason jars available here. Enjoy your new journey of pickling at home!
WATCH VIDEO OF MAKING QUICK PICKLES AT HOME