A Quick Pickle

Pickle 1

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Several weeks ago, while walking around the farmers market, a bin of pickling cucumbers caught my eye. I bought some and on the way back to my car bought the rest of this recipe’s ingredients — well, almost. The three cherry bomb peppers came from my garden. They turned out to be the only cherry peppers that I’d harvest until well into autumn. My tomato plants, taking full advantage of their new flower bed and soil, grew to monstrous proportions, overcrowding everything else in the process.

I have served this pickle atop every kind of sandwich imaginable, not to mention burgers, dogs, and wursts, too. I’ve also served it alongside a variety of grilled meats. For my tastes, a little something acidic on the plate is often a welcome accompaniment.

If you prepare this recipe, the ingredients aren’t nearly as important as the pickling liquid. You can change the spices to suit your own tastes but If you’re going to make a smaller batch, just keep the amounts of vinegar, sugar, and water proportional to what I’ve listed. It couldn’t be easier and, since this isn’t being canned, you needn’t worry about whether the solution is acidic enough. So long as you use sterile jars & lids and clean utensils, it should last several weeks in your fridge.

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pickle with BLTC

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A Fresh Pickle Recipe

Ingredients

Pickling liquid

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup pickling salt – If substituting kosher salt, add an additional tbsp
  • ½ tbsp coriander seed
  • ½ tbsp yellow mustard seed
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp celery seed

Vegetables

  • pickling cucumbers – about 3 lbs
  • 1 small red onion
  • 4 hot green peppers
  • 4 sweet Melrose peppers
  • 3 cherry bomb peppers
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • garlic

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Pickle Ingredients

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Directions

  1. Place all of the pickling ingredients into a sauce pan and heat over a medium heat.
  2. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes after the salt and sugar have dissolved.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, slice the remaining ingredients.
  5. Once cooled, combine the pickling liquid with the sliced vegetables, stir, fill jars, and cover.
  6. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before serving.
  7. Will keep in your fridge for several weeks, at least. Just be sure to use fresh, clean utensils when serving.

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Notes

For my tastes, this recipe is a little heavy on the cucumber. Next time I’ll cut the amount of cucumber and increase the other ingredients, especially the radishes. I’ll probably cut the turmeric, as well. As the pickle sat in the fridge, the turmeric gave everything the same hue, eliminating any color variation among all the ingredients save the cherry bomb peppers. The first photo was taken a few hours after I made the pickle. The second was taken one week later.

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

Mt. Burger

I know, I know, Every year I bring you back to this recipe for giardiniera — and with good reason. Next to the blueberry cheesecake ice cream recipe, this condiment is the most requested and savored by my taste testers. It really is that good. Best of all, it can made anytime because its ingredients are readily available year-round. You can learn all about it by clicking here HERE.  

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Ground Cherry Jam Preview

Ground Cherry Jam

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96 thoughts on “A Quick Pickle

    • That’s the thing, Jasline. This pickle is incredibly easy to make and everyone loves it. If you want it more spicy, include more or hotter peppers in the mix. I hope you do try it,

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  1. Hi John, you make it sound so easy. The photos look great as well. Apart from the color, what happened to the variety in flavor of the different vegetables? Or is it more a variety in textures that you’re after? I like some pickles like cucumber, but with others including bell peppers and sundried tomatoes, I prefer sott’oli without any vinegar as I don’t like how it affects the flavor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Stefan. It really is that easy being I’m not trying to preserve the pickle. The pickling solution does mask the more subtle flavors. I like the crunch that the radishes bring to the party, as cucumber slices will lose their snap. Ronit suggests using thinly sliced celery. I’ll definitely try that. The celery I buy at the farmers market is smaller and the taste is much more concentrated. I bet it would withstand the pickling solution quite well. I have yet to try sott’oli, though I have tasted quite a few and enjoyed them all. I do like that vinegary flavor, though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Tanya. Things are going pretty well and just about back to normal now that The Visitation has ended. Although I can get pickling cucumbers year-round, I very much prefer the ones I can purchase at the farmers market in the summer. Even so, I won’t go long without a jar of some sort of pickle in the fridge, summer or not. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That looks fabulous – I wish you’d been around last night. I had some pickle with a very nice brie de meaux in a restaurant and it was almost like Nuttella flavoured with curry. We were a large table of 12 and I think we all pushed the pickle to one side 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I would have loved to join your group, MD. I know I would have enjoyed the brie. It wouldn’t be long, however, before I politely asked, “Are you gonna eat that?”, before devouring the pickle that you all had “pushed to one side.” I love that vinegary flavor. 🙂

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    • Hi, Dave. Your pickling recipe for cherry bomb peppers is my go-to recipe, as you’ll soon see in an upcoming post. I won’t let summer pass without having at least a few jars of pickled cherry bombs on the shelf.

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  3. Quick pickles are the best! Never seem to have time to do the traditional kind, but anything I can refrigerate I’m good with. Like that you use both cider vinegar and white vinegar — haven’t tried that combo, but I will. Good tip, too, on how important it is to maintain the water/vinegar/sugar if you change quantities — there’s good chemistry behind why this ratio is important. I just don’t know what it is! 🙂 Fun post — thanks.

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    • I couldn’t agree more, John. The vegetables in a fresh pickles, to me, maintain their crispiness better — and I do like that crunch. You’re right, too, about the chemistry but I’m not about to research it. If I were to preserve the jars, I’d have to. That’s another reason to love quick pickles: no research necessary. 🙂

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  4. Dear John, it is as you said: the problem has been solved mysteriously. I’v got your today’s post! I’m included… 🙂 – Like your pictures, especially the first one, it’s so colourful and yummy!
    Have a great day!
    Irmi

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Irmi, and I’m glad you’re getting my posts again. Unfortunately for me, I’ve apparently lost a few people while I was away. I’ve been doing quite a bit of re-subscribing the past few days. WordPress giveth and WordPress taketh away. 🙂

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      • Nicely said: WP giveth and taketh… Love it. –
        I’m here again… Sorry for the color loss of your pickles. I thought it was just another batch…
        I took my time now to read your article again and even switched to your “giardiniera” post. The culture differences are so interesting. I dare say my family has not been real pickles lovers at all, except for the sauerkraut of course (living in Bavaria). ;-). There are of course pickled gherkins in various kinds, some other pickles too as e.g. paprika (bell peppers), mushrooms, just to name a few, but always in a single creation, no mixes and – as you are describing the Italian way (btw nicely told) – no preferences to hot. I myself consider a pickle more to be a salad… And as I am not a huge fan of salads nor a vinegar lover I do not tend to grab pickles either. Knowing them to be healthy of course. I often feel a bit helpless with pickles because I just never know what they could go with. Same thing with chutneys or relishes. It does not seem to be my world. Um. Maybe that is why we never have been a “sandwich or burger nation” (in spite of McD) nor are we a “pickles land”. 😉
        Nonetheless your recipe looks great and juicy and yummy. What I did not understand quite well is why the brine is to be discarded (with giardiniera). Aren’t there lots of healthy things dissolved in? Is that maybe why pickles are not comparable to fermented vegetables, where the brine may be is needed for the fermentation process? Whereas in the above recipe there’s no brine produced at all – that’s why they’re called “quick”, isn’t it?

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        • I’m glad you took the time to check out the giardiniera recipe, Irmi. That recipe is a favorite among my friends and they are eager for me to make it. Not only are the vegetables brined, but the liquid is oil-based and a pickle has no oil but relies upon vinegar. I’ve never thought to preserve the brining liquid but now yo have me thinking. I wonder what I could do with it. I’ll be bringing my turkey for Thanksgiving and I bet this brining liquid make the perfect base.
          Italian giardiniera is often treated as a salad while here in Chicago it is strictly a condiment, though I must admit I’ll often serve some on my plate because I do enjoy it. I serve this pickle with just about anything. Whether on top, as with a wurst or burger, or along side, as I did with grilled pork chops. It is called a fresh pickle because, once jarred, it is not boiled as one does in the canning process nor does one have to wait before serving it. Most fresh pickles can be served anytime after being prepared, though I prefer to wait a few hours.
          I must confess to being a bit of a novice when it comes to chutneys. I’ve enjoyed those that I’ve tried and even prepared a couple. I’m at a bit of a loss when it comes to pairing them with another dish. I live very near an area called Little India. I should spend more time there and learn how chutneys are prepared and served. I know, it’s a tough assignment. I’ll just have to soldier on. 🙂

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          • Thank you, John, for your kind reply! I want to give it a try – just have to do the purchases yet… – I love the Indian kitchen too. I try to make some recipes sometimes, I just leave out the salad and chutney thingies… 😉 And, of course, I do like to eat out at (/in?) an Indian restaurant….

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  5. We have a number of grocery stores that all feature pickle bins where these large suckers are swimming in their juices, waiting to be sliced up and gobbled down. That being said it is amazing how different they taste. I assume the amount of vinegar up or down is the decision-maker. In any event I will never turn down any slice of pickle I come across…regardless of how pickled they come across.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t agree more. Nothing like a good pickle, You may be right about the vinegar level affecting taste, though I’m sure the type has something to do with it as well. I’ll often use wine vinegar when pickling onions.

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    • I like the idea of adding celery,Ronit. Our famers markets have celery that’s smaller and the favor is much more intense than that found in groceries. I bet it would be wonderful in this pickle. Thanks for the suggestion. (Yet another reason to look forward for summer.)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh I do love a quickle! Haven’t heard of cherry bomb peppers, but what a fab name! We visited your beautiful country in April and I was totally amazed by the variety of peppers available (and hot sauces)! Love the sound of radishes in the mix. Pinning this to try it later, especially as my ten year old has now decided he loves pickles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad you waited until you’ve returned home before admitting that you love quickies. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed your time here, Saskia. Like your home, it’s a big country with much to see.
      The pickling liquid is a good one. You can switch the ingredients to suit your little man’s tastes. The best thing about it is that you can make it this afternoon and serve it with tonight’s supper. Love it!

      Liked by 1 person

        • I hope you enjoyed the pickle, Saskia.
          If you travelled any stretch of Rte 66, I’m sure you had a great time. So many tourists come to see NYC or LA and maybe another city before heading home. Like Oz, there is so much more to this country. You were wise to travel that old highway.

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          • Haven’t made the pickle yet. Ran out of time for a ‘big shop’ last weekend. It’s on the list though. Drooling at the thought.
            We took our time on 66; six weeks in total, 2000 photos! So much beauty. Probably my favorite holiday, ever. Saving up now so we can do the other leg of 66 one day, from Okla to Chicago (we traveled it in reverse)! Always happier to explore out-of-the-way locations. Mind you we LOVE NYC and LA too 🙂

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  7. Have to admit I am ‘entering’ this ‘discussion’ at the 101 level. Have never made any pickles and basically, being a typical North European, eat my Polish dills and pickled beetroot and c’est ca 🙂 ! Love your simple recipe even tho’ terms like ‘cherry bombs’ and ‘Melrose’ sweet ones are quite new! But have the idea and shall try. Meanwhile am wondering why I can’t get a doggerel about Peter Piper and his ‘peck off pickled peppers’ out of my head . . . 😀 !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Over here, Eha, most people think of cucumbers when they hear the word “pickle” and there are a number of liquids to do it. Some are brined and others are vinegar based. Some pickles are preserved with their vegetables boiled in the canning process. Others, like mine today, are “fresh” and the vegetables aren’t cooked. You can pickle any vegetable. I’ve seen mushrooms,onions, peppers, radishes, you name it, pickled. If the vegetable is crisp, I prefer a fresh pickle to retain that crunch. Sometimes, boiling the jarred pickle will soften the vegetables, especially if they’re sliced. The trade-off is that fresh pickles will last a few weeks in the fridge where canned pickles will last a year on the pantry shelf.
      To clear any confusion, cherry bomb peppers are about as hot as a jalapeño. Melrose peppers aren’t at all spicy and are rather sweet.
      Due to the vinegar, this pickle and those that I favor are acidic, I love something a little acidic on my plate and serve this on or alongside many mains. If you do make this, I think you’ll be surprised how simple it is to make. If you’re at all like me, you’ll already be considering vegetables to include in the next batch.
      And now I’ve got Peter and his damn peppers in my head, too! 🙂

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      • Just going out to try water a 41 C garden! Thought I’d click on first: John, thank you so much for taking the time making things clearer: appreciated! I did read what Irmi wrote above: now she lives in Bavaria and I was born in he Baltics, quite a distance apart but some of the same food habits are ingrained – amongst them cooked pickled vegetables of the one kind! [Did not mention the obvious sauerkraut on purpose: too fat from your way] With summer very much here the ‘fresh’ aspect appeals, and I’ll soon tell you of my first combo . . .thanks! [Yup, every couple of hours I am still trying with those wretched P’s!!!]

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  8. Oh yum, sounds crunchy and fresh without any preservatives, just up my alley! I wonder if I can use little Persian cucumbers and rice vinegar ( apple cider vinegar is not my thing). I usually cook with fresh turmeric, which has a little of a nutty taste. Can’t wait to make it

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can definitely use Persian cukes and rice vinegar. That’s what I love about this recipe. You can add/subtract whatever suits your fancy. Just maintain the basic ratio of vinegars, water, and sugar. You’re in for a treat. 🙂

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  9. Great pickling liquid John!! I make quick picked veggies quite often and love using different flavors. Definitely will be trying yours. Oh yea…sandwiches and sausage. YUM!

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    • I certainly hope you’ll share your list of ingredients when you do, MJ. I’d love to see what chiles you’ll use. What I love about a fresh pickle is that the spiciness of the chiles/peppers doesn’t really leach into the liquid like it does when canned. As a result, some bites are mild while another may have a bit of heat. That’s why I like shishito peppers.

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      • Totally agree John! I pickled some super hot chiles the other (a new hybrid) and thus far the pickling liquid doesn’t seem too hot. But then pickle guerro chile every year because I grow them, and the heat really leaks into the liquid. I love using the pickling liquid from the guerro in homemade mayo. 🙂 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Congrats if he agrees to it, EllaDee. This recipe is such an easy one that the slicing is really the only hard part. By “hard” I mean time consuming. Once he tries it, I doubt you’ll have any problem asking him to do the slicing again. It really is a good pickle!

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    • This is a good one to share, Diane. I’m sure she’ll like it, as do my friends and family. A few years ago, I posted a recipe for Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles. It’s another good one that needn’t be canned. You can see the recipe HERE.

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    • No cucumbers? In this area, pickling cukes are available year-round, though I prefer to get them in the summer from the farmers. I enjoy this pickle so much that I buy the cukes wherever I can find them. I give most of them away and haven’t had any complaints yet/ 🙂

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  10. tutto quanto bellissimo, perché anche i colori contano nella buona cucina, vero John? spesso si mangia con gli occhi, ma difficilmente quello che piace alla vista inganna al sapore.Adoro la cucina fresca, diretta quanto quella elaborata! le tue ricette sono sempre fantastiche, grazie mille e felice sera

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so correct, Ventis. We do “eat with our eyes” first. The turmeric, “curcuma”, ruined the beautiful colors and made them all very pale. Next time I won’t use it so that the colors will remain vibrant.
      Thak you for visiting, Ventis. It is always a delight to see your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautiful. They looks wonderful. I’ve never made pickles, and it’s probably because my husband can’t stand the smell of vinegar. Although I did make authentic Mexican pickled vegetables once. He must have been out of town…

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    • I was about to write that you really must try this pickle until I read of your husband’s distaste for vinegar’s smell. Yeah, that would be a problem. It’s not like vinegar’s scent can be masked. Well, I guess you’ll have to wait until he goes on a weeklong business trip …
      🙂

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  12. Confession: I usually talk my sister into making pickled items, but this one I will do myself. Awesome! (The reason I talk her into it is because it the traditional canning process is always so much work. I mean, it looks like so much work…I’ve never really tried it.)

    But I am keen on this recipe, and it’s good to know that you can substitute different vegs, and make smaller amounts as long as the proportions remain the same. I LOVE vinegary things, and I can see myself making these quite a bit.

    Now, don’t laugh, but could a person do carrots this way? And, if so, would they have to be cooked somewhat before adding to the vinegar mixture?

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    • I know what you mean, Ruth.Pickles like this one are so much easier than the rigamarole needed for canning. When my preserving is in full swing, it seems like that big pot of boiling water is never off of my stovetop. The hardest thing about this pickle is the slicing and if you have a mandoline, well, it’s a snap. I hope you do try it and like it as much as I do.

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  13. I adore a good home made pickle, which is far better than being in a pickle (oh dear, sorry about that). I used turmeric in an Indian carrot pickle recipe and found it really clouded the beautiful colour that pickled carrots get, so I’d either reduce or remove entirely.
    I am quite jealous of your bumper crop of tomatoes, although I haven’t grown tomatoes for a few years, our dear neighbours did and we were always the grateful recipients of over production, except this year. Apparently the squirrels ate more than their fair share last year so this year they didn’t grow any. That’s not just bad for the squirrels, it’s bad for us too.

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    • That pickle pun was going to be stated sooner or later, Eva. 🙂
      I’ve since made another batch and lessened the turmeric but still the vegetables were discolored. I think I’ll drop it altogether next time. It looks so good when first made, like in that first picture, and it’s such a disappointment a week later.
      This was quite a year for my tomatoes. My cherry tomato plant overran the bed. I picked cherry tomatoes from one end to the other. The other plants, tomatoes et al, suffered because of it. Worse yet, all the tomato plants grew so thick that I couldn’t get to all of the tomatoes without ripping out branches. I’ve never seen anything like it. I believe it’s because it was a new bed and new, highly enriched soil. I used all natural composts and manure to supplement the fill dirt. Maybe there was some uranium in there, too. Everyone who saw that bed was amazed. My neighbor kept looking at it and shook her head. Her tomato plants, though normal, looked absolutely dwarfed in comparison. She’ll get even next year, I’m sure. I think she’s praying for it. 🙂

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    • I’m sure you’ll love this one. If it’s the color that you like most, I would skip the turmeric. I made another batch and halved the amount in the recipe and it still affected the pickle’s color’s and in a week, the entire pickle was the same drab color just like in the post’s picture. Naughty turmeric! 🙂

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  14. I’m with you – anything acidic is absolutely welcome on my plate. I’ve never pickled anything, but my mom used to all the time. I might have to change that one of these days. The kids would love it. You should see them devour pickles!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’ll really like this one, Kristy. It’s very popular around here. Do you like bread and butter pickles? I posted a recipe for them, too, and it doesn’t need to be canned — unless you want to. Both of these recipes are really easy to follow and the results are great. When you get some time (Ha!), give ’em a try.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I definitely need to get into pickle-making, and a quick pickle like this would be a great place to start. There’s something about the vinegar solution simmering on the stove that’s just so nostalgic (Mom used to make pickles), not to mention gloriously sinus-clearing, lol. Seriously, your pickling liquid sounds delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Melani! So nice to hear from you. I am just now getting things caught up and will be making the rounds again.
      You can easily include some hot peppers in this pickle to spice things up a bit. I give these as gifts and if I know someone likes spicy things as you do, I’ll chop a few peppers and include them in each jar. It works every time. 🙂

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  16. Pingback: Soft Shell Crab Po’ Boys with Sriracha Aioli | from the Bartolini kitchens

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