The past week it has been so hot here in Cambodia. The hot season has definitely started. With temperatures well above 30C or 85F, we lost our appetite for hot meals. Salads are on for lunch and dinner.
The other day I made this quick pickle and I must say it is a great and refreshing addition to any of our lunch or dinner salads. You can use this quick pickle method for nearly every vegetable, I used the small cucumbers we have here in Cambodia. I have never seen the normal cucumbers on the market. Though I prefer the richer flavor of cucumber, we have to make do with what we have.
Best of all, quick pickling doesn’t require any canning methods and you can add the spices, vinegar, etc you like.
Quick pickles are also known as refrigerator pickles. Though they don’t develop the deep and rich flavor of fermented pickles, they are so yum, easy to make, and a great way to preserve any surplus veggies you have.
Quick pickling is as simple as pickling your veggies in a vinegar, water, and salt/sugar solution that is then stored in the refrigerator for a few days before it develops its full flavor.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR QUICK PICKLE
Use FRESH Vegetables
Pickling is best done with fresh, not-too-bruised vegetables. Save those for stews and soups! Depending on the vegetables you use you can either slice or cut the vegetables into matchsticks. Cherry tomatoes are best pickled whole and if you decide to pickle asparagus it is best the blanch them first before pickling.
Make The Brine
Though you could use other kinds of vinegar too, we love the taste of apple cider vinegar. If you feel experimental and what to use something else avoid concentrated and aged vinegar like balsamic and malt vinegar as a base.
The basic brine recipe is equal parts vinegar and water. But you can adjust the ratio to your preference.
Brine Recipe (for 1 big jar)
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup water
- 3 tbsp maple syrup (or honey or (brown) sugar works too)
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp coriander seeds
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- ½ - 1 tsp black peppercorns
You can adjust this recipe to the number of jars you want to make and to your personal flavor. Feel free to add different herbs and spices.
Wash and dry the cucumbers. Slice cucumbers with a mandolin into thin circles.
Pack the vegetables into the jar(s), making sure there is ½ inch (1.20cm) of space from the rim of the jar. Pack them in as tightly as you can without smashing the vegetables.
Bring the apple cider vinegar, water, maple syrup, and salt to a boil. When boiling, remove from the heat and add all the spices.
Pour over the vegetables. Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more brine if necessary.
Place the lids on the jars and screw until tight. Allow to cool to room temperature.
You can eat the pickles straight away but their flavor will improve as they age. If you have the patience try to wait at least 48 hours before cracking them open.
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