Friday, May 23, 2014

Sweet Garlic Dill Quick Pickles

It's pickle season!!

Summers bring lots of cucumbers to the garden.  We love them, and eat them in salads, sliced with hummus, and often pickled, along side your favorite supper, tucked in your sandwich, or on top of a salad.  When they are abundant, I preserve the pickles by canning. But when they are just first showing on the vine, and we're enjoying them fresh, it's nice to make a mini-batch of quick pickles for the fridge.

This is a Suyo Long cucumber.  It's a traditional long-fruited cucumber from China, and grows quite well in our hot and humid Houston, Texas climate.  It may be ugly, but it's an excellent tasting cucumber, thin-skinned, sweet, crisp and bitter-free, you really can't beat it for taste, in my opinion.  It grows up to about 15 inches, and it makes an excellent pickling cucumber.

Sliced cucumbers, sweet onion, garlic, dill seed, celery seed, salt, vinegar, sugar and turmeric -- it's a simple and straight-forward pickle recipe.  Heat the vinegar, sugar, salt, water and turmeric to a boil in a sauce pan.  Place garlic, dill seed, and celery seed in the bottom of a sterilized quart sized mason jar. Layer in cucumber and onion slices.

Once your liquid mixture comes to a boil, pour over the cucumber and onions in the jar, and fill to within 1/2 inch headspace.  Gently tap the ingredients down with a wooden spoon, and cool on the counter, then chill in the refrigerator.  Voila!  You have just made delicious quick pickles. Dig in!

Sweet Garlic Dill Quick Pickles
(makes 1 quart)

1 large Suyo Long Cucumber (or other thin-skinned pickling cucumbers), sliced
1/2 medium sweet onion (such as 1015), thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp dill seed
1/4 tsp celery seed
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 tbsp pickling salt
scant 1/8 tsp turmeric

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and turmeric in a saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar.  Meanwhile, add garlic, dill seed and celery seed to the jar, then pack cucumber and onion slices in layers.  Pour boiling vinegar mixture over cucumbers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top.  Allow to cool completely on the counter, then chill in the refrigerator.  These will keep for about a month in the fridge, but trust me, you won't have them that long!

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