Sunday, July 21, 2013

Quick Dill Pickles

It's a wonderful time of year at the farmers markets in Nova Scotia. During my weekly visit to the Alderney market in Dartmouth, I found beautiful pickling cucumbers.  I wasn't ready to do a full canning process of making dills or bread & butter pickles with a hot water bath canning method-- it was 40 degrees Celcius yesterday with the humidex-- so I decided to go with a fridge pickle recipe.   

I used approx 2 lbs of cucumbers, sliced them thinly with the food processor. I also thinly sliced two white onions-- also from the market.  I submerged them in cold water with ice, and poured pickling salt all over them. I used 1 cup of salt.  I then mixed it up and covered them with saran wrap. I like using a metal bowl as it gets super cold.  I put them in the fridge for about 18 hours.  Even one hour can be enough to chill them.

The next morning, I prepared a brine solution, using 2 cups of water, 2 cups of white vinegar, and 2 tbsp of pickling salt; I brought it to a boil. Note: this is a sour, vinegary solution. If you're not a fan of a strong vinegar flavour, you can add a bit of sugar to it to balance it a bit more.  I prepared 3 quart jars, checking to make sure there were no cracks or chips and sterilized them. I filled the jars with 1 head of dill-- also purchased at the market.  I added 2 cloves of garlic that we grew in our garden.  I rinsed the cucumber and onion mixture very well, removing the salt solution.  I then packed each jar with the vegetables.  Once the brine reached a rolling boil, I poured the solution into the jars.  I then used a wooden spoon to remove air bubbles, put a lid on each jar, sealed them and waited for them to cool before placing in the fridge. I'll let them sit for 48 hours before we dig in. They're perfect for burgers, sausages, or a side dish.  So fresh and dilly! 

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