We love pickles in this house.
My little girl alone goes through about a jar every week or two this summer. She's especially fond of pickled carrots as I've found out recently. And have you seen the price for pickles? Holy moly! If you're wanting a good pickle, you're going to be paying $3-4 bucks a jar. Eep!
The past few weeks I've been playing around with a grocery service that delivers organic and local produce straight from nearby farms to your home. I've been getting the 'local box' which comes with a variety of that weeks 'special' produce, fruits and herbs. It's been fun and very interesting. I get to work with a lot of new-to-me ingredients that you normally wouldn't find at the grocery store either; such as sweet potato greens, hon tsai tai, and cucamelons.
Well, I was supposed to get cucamelons, but unfortunately they were swapped for something else after I had planned on pickling them. Bummer. Oh well! I did still get some fresh organic dill in my delivery so I decided I'd just pickle some cucumbers and carrots instead!
Now, I should warn you yet again that I am in no way a fan of cucumbers... and have a pretty picky take on what is a good pickle. I tend to like the ones straight from the refrigerated area, which is why I thought some easy refrigerator pickles would be the way for me to go.
I went with cucumbers and carrots, just because we all like pickles here and the pickled carrots that come at the bottom of the jars from the store are just not enough to sate my daughters craving for them. Seriously, there's only like 2 1/2 sliced carrots at the very bottom of the jar! ... But, you could choose to pickle just about any other vegetable that you want. It's all fair game here!
I've also never canned anything in my life, nor seen or known anyone close to me that canned foods. In fact, the entire process of canning tends to scare me. It's uncharted territory, so simplicity was key here!
If you do not have the 'pickling spice', you can always use 1 tsp. coriander seed, 1 tsp. mustard seed, 1 tsp. celery seed, and 1 tsp. black pepper corn instead. I was being lazy and it was also just cheaper for me to by the blend rather than all four of the other spices separately.
All in all, these pickles turned out really well and are definitely easy and cheap enough that I would prefer these to the store bought ones any day!
Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Servings: 16 • Size: 1 Pickle Spear + 2 Carrots • Calories: 10 • Fat: 0 g • Carb: 1.9 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Protein: 0.1 g • Sugar: 0 g • Sodium: 270.3 mg
2 C. Water
6 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
1 1/2 C. Distilled White Vinegar
2 Tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 C. Fresh Dill (About 8 sprigs.)
4 Tsp. Pickling Spice
3 Pickling Cucumbers (I cut each of mine into about 8 spears.)
16 Baby Carrots
Place the water and garlic into a medium pot and bring it to a boil.
Reduce the heat and allow the water and garlic to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Increase the heat and add in the vinegar and salt, and bring the mixture back to a boil.
In the mean time, divide the dill and spice into two regular mason jars. (I think my jars hold 4 cups each.)
You can also use 1 tsp. coriander seed, 1 tsp. mustard seed, 1 tsp. celery seed, and 1 tsp. black pepper corn instead of the 4 tsp. pickling spice blend.
Once the water and vinegar mixture is boiling again, remove from the heat and transfer the garlic from the pot to the mason jars.
Fill each mason jar with your pickles and carrots (or whatever other vegetables you decide.)
You'll want to be sure that those jars are pretty packed full!
Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the vegetables and allow to sit and cool to about room temperature before you seal tight and place into the fridge.
Putting hot glass jars into the fridge could be a very bad thing. So be sure you let them cool!
Allow the pickles to sit for at least a few hours. The longer they sit, the more tender and 'pickled' they become.
My favorite ones are those that have been sitting for 1-2 weeks.
The ones in this jar are just shy of being a week old.
Open up the jar and enjoy!
Oh, and by the way they stay good for up to three months in the fridge.
You can use this same method to pickle just about any sort of vegetable.
I also pickled some okra that I got from an organic local farm this past weekend. I can't wait to crack into these bad boys!