I hate cucumbers, but I love pickles.
I was accumulating a pile of cucumbers in my vegetable crisper, courtesy of my subscription to a CSA share with an local organic farm. I love that I don’t get to choose which vegetables I receive each week, because it makes me try new foods, and to stretch myself as a cook.
The downside is that sometimes I get things I hate, like cucumbers.
But, I don’t like wasting food, and I like pickles, and stretching myself to eat more and different vegetables is the whole point of subscribing to a CSA, so I decided to try making pickles.
I found two recipes that looked good. They had some similarities, and some notable differences. Taking inspiration from both of them, I kept the ingredients I liked, and removed the ingredients I didn’t like or didn’t have on hand, and made a couple of other substitutions and additions. The result? Fantastic.
Which is lucky, because I have more cucumbers coming on Thursday.
- 1-1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 cups cold water
Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar in a small, non-reactive saucepan (such as stainless steel or nonstick-coated.) Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Then remove from heat and stir in the cold water. Pour the mixture into a large storage bowl with a fitted lid.
- 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
- 6 large garlic cloves, cut in half and peeled
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp celery seeds
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp dill weed
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1-1/2 pounds of cucumbers, sliced into thin coins
Add the onion, garlic, spices and cucumbers to the brine mixture and stir well. If necessary, add cold water until the brine covers the cucumbers. Refrigerate for 24 hours (if you can wait that long) then serve. Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.
If you’re curious, here are the two recipes I used as inspiration. Both of these sites have lots of other wonderful recipes too. Enjoy!
Once Upon a Chef’s Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles
Taste of Home’s Easy Refrigerator Pickles
How are Cucumbers Good for You?
According to WebMD, cucumbers are mostly water, which makes them good for hydration. Plus, they are low-calorie, which can help with weight loss. They’re also a good source of:
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Minerals, including Copper, Phosphorus, Potassium and Magnesium
- Anti-oxidants, including Flavonoids, Lignans and Triterpenes