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Sweet fresh refrigerator pickles

Cukes and radishes meet vinegar and sugar
Cukes and radishes meet vinegar and sugar
Missy A Kitchell

Summertime and the cucumbers are easy to pick up by handfuls or bushel bags with the intent of making a batch of gloriously crunchy garlic-dill pickles. You know the kind where you dump a gallon of white vinegar and a box of kosher salt into an enormous pot. Heat until it’s boiling, dump over the cukes and spices stuffed tight like sausages in a jar, seal, process and wait for at least a few months before popping them open to enjoy. Certainly a nice delayed reward for when stormy days surround us, but what about in-the-moment palate-pleasure?

An amazing magical transformation happens when that mountain of produce goes for a swim in a concoction of vinegar and sugar: click your heels (the washing and slicing part) make a wish (stirring up a vinegary bath) and intensely flavored fresh pickles appear for supper, snacking and sandwich piling.

The basic definition of a pickle is an edible product, often cucumbers, which have been preserved in vinegar-salt brine. Types range from dilly wonders to sweet Gherkins and the in between choice of bread and butter pickles. Refrigerator pickles are the young, upstart version of their older sibling; crisp and fresh, maintaining a more just-picked cucumber persona.

Gathering bits from different recipes, these fridge pickles are a riff on a bread and butter number, with a little sharpness from apple cider vinegar that is tempered with an equal amount of sugar.

Cucumber-Radish Refrigerator Pickles

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups thinly sliced cucumbers (English, Persian, Lemon, Kirby – your choice)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • ¼ cup rough chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Steps:

  • Place sliced radishes and cucumbers in a large bowl
  • Combine remaining ingredients and whisk until sugar dissolves
  • Pour vinegar-sugar mixture over the cucumbers, stirring to mix well
  • Allow to marinate in the sloshy brine for at least 15 minutes. Then devour.

Store any left-overs in the refrigerator up to 3 days. The cucumbers will continue to soften and absorb the flavor of the brine, becoming more pickle-like.