Dirt to Table Experience: Refrigerator Pickles, and You Name it, Veggies

PUBLISHED ON: 05.07.2012
The summer veggies are ripening, and there are still a few veggies left over from early spring, and I am ready to brag.  My canning skills at best, are novice-not totally trustworthy. My ability to pickle lends me more a confident role in preserving my bounty.
Until recently, I never thought about pickling vegetables. Growing-up the closest I came to eating pickled anything was eating jarred PICKLES. We were urban dwellers, if it could not purchased at the local Winn-Dixe, it was not going to happen. We did not grow food, we did not think about food-It was all about convenience.
Although my growing up years were not focused on food,  I did enjoy a lot of good food, shared at many other families tables-who did think about food, who brought rich traditions with a more recent immigrant status.  A fond food memory of mine was during my college years (which went on longer than it should have) were small platters of pickled vegetables served along side the main entree, it shared a constant presence at the Iranian family table-twenty-five years later, I appreciate it, I get it.

Refrigerator Pickles and You Name it, Veggies
Makes 2-quarts
Recipe adapted from Food Network

For the Brine:
10 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups white vinegar
6 teaspoons kosher salt
Several sprigs of fresh dill
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorns (optional)
For the Vegetables:
Note: I am providing the exact recipe you can substitute, add or delete any of the vegetables. I did!

6 kirby 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 to tuck wherever they’ll fit
4 small hot red chiles or 2 jalapenos

1.  In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups to a boil, reduce the heat so the water simmers and add the garlic.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add the vinegar and salt, raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt dissolves.  Remove from the heat.
2.  In 2 clear 1-quart jars, place a few sprigs of dill.  Divide the seeds and the peppercorns between the jars.  Using tongs, 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 chiles.  You want them to be tightly stuffed.
3.  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, better after a couple of days, and they will keep for about 3 months.

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