When my children were young, I did a lot of canning and freezing. I had a fairly large garden and, with the help of my parents, we canned many jars of tomatoes, zucchini pickles, green beans, and peppers in tomato sauce. Since the children are grown and the garden is gone, I haven’t canned in a while. However, I recently got a renewed interest after finding an easy refrigerator pickles canning method that allows some vegetables to be preserved in boiled pickle brine and stored in the refrigerator for a couple months. They can be made in small batches and work well if your family is small. You can also customize what you pack in the jars.
This recipe for Refrigerator Pickled Vegetables is quick and easy. The vegetables taste fresh and have just the right amount of garlic and dill. Serve them as an accompaniment at a backyard picnic or enjoy them as a snack.
Some things to note:
• Be sure to buy Kirby or pickling cucumbers for this pickled vegetables recipe. The waxy skin of regular cucumbers prevents them from absorbing the flavors in the brine. Local farmers markets are a good place to look.
• If you can’t find small carrots, buy regular-sized ones and cut them to fit the jar.
This easy pickle recipe allows you to preserve the best of what summer has to offer, so that you have pickled mixed vegetables to enjoy all year long.
6 Kirby cucumbers or pickling cucumbers, quartered lengthwise
6 young spring carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 handful large scallion pieces or green beans
A few pieces of cauliflower florets to tuck wherever they'll fit
4 small hot red chili peppers or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
2 1-quart glass canning jars
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat so the water simmers and add the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and salt and then raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat.
In two clear 1-quart jars, place a few sprigs of dill. Divide the seeds and peppercorns between the jars.
Using a Slotted Spoon, remove the garlic from the brine and place 5 cloves in each jar. Then pack the jars full of cucumbers, carrots, scallions or green beans, cauliflower and chilies. You want them to be tightly packed.
Bring the brine back to a boil, pour it over the vegetables to cover completely, let cool, then cover and refrigerate.
The pickles will taste good in just a few hours and even better after a couple of days. They’ll also keep in the refrigerator for about three months.
Barbara Singer is our resident home cook and has been part of the Cutco family since March 1990. Barb has always had an appreciation and love for cooking which she attributes to her Italian mother who was an excellent cook. Barb has her mother’s recipe box which she refers to often. She enjoys trying new recipes and adding touches to make them her own and particularly enjoys baking, considering cheesecake to be one of her specialties. She uses her husband, children and co-workers as taste-testers for the new recipes she tries. Barb says she can count on them to be honest and let her know if it’s a winner or a loser.