A special shout out and Happy Father's Day to my dad - the guy who taught me everything there is to love about pickles and photography. Here's to combing both in dedication to you :).
The seasons are definitely starting to change here in San Diego - we're exiting the days of May Grays and June Glooms and hitting our desert heat waves. This weekend brought one with vengeance. I know, for those of you who live in places where it's 98 F and 100% humidity, I shouldn't complain. But, 95 F in a city that doesn't believe in A/C is no fun. Especially if you need or want to get in your kitchen and cook.
Summer is one of those seasons that seems to bring foods that need (or rather, deserve) pickles, but with soaring temps, the last thing you want to do is heat up your kitchen with boiling vinegar and a canning water bath. Well, here's your perfect solution - a pickle that you can prep in 10 minutes, set in the fridge, and do nothing else but enjoy it the following day. No heat, no turning your kitchen into a steamy sauna, and no need to make 10 jars at a time. This recipe yields one perfect pint jar of summery pickles. And, if you use watermelon radishes, they may even have a delightful pink hue by the end.
An added bonus to not using heat - the full nutritional value of the vegetables and apple cider vinegar is maintained. I would recommend using a good quality vinegar (Bragg's is my personal favorite). The acidity of these pickles is somewhat mild. If you prefer a more pungent pickle, add additional vinegar and 1 tsp sugar and 1/8 tsp salt per ounce of added vinegar.
SUMMER FRIDGE PICKLES
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp of each: fennel seeds, celery seeds, minced ginger
- 1/4 tsp of each: peppercorns, mustard seeds, dill seeds (or 1 dill flower)
- 2 cups sliced cucumber, radish, and/or summer squash
- Several chives or chive blossoms
- Chili pepper, optional
- Filtered water
In a glass pint jar or container of similar size, add vinegar, sugar, salt and spices. Secure the lid and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Remove the lid and add the sliced vegetables, chives, and chili pepper, if desired.
Fill the jar with filtered water up to 1/2" below the brim. Secure the lid again, gently shake a few times, and place in the fridge overnight (or for at least 4 hours). These pickles will keep in the fridge for up to two months.
Yield: 1 pint jar