Here’s a quick refrigerator pickling recipe that's very flexible! The benefits of skipping hot canning include time saving, not having to water bath boil in the heat, and it's safer. The veggies are blanched by the hot brine but not cooked, maintaining more of their natural enzymes and nutrients that are destroyed by hot canning. The vinegar adds some acid and probiotics (if using raw apple cider vinegar with the mother) both are beneficial for digestive health and reminiscent of traditional food. Besides, the combination of crunchy, cool, and salty, is such a pleasure in the heat!
For my palate, adding dill seed (if no fresh dill), celery seed, and fresh crushed garlic are musts! I’m overrun by cucumbers right now and anticipate the same with beans and cherry tomatoes soon, so this will be a go-to recipe in my home for weeks to come. This recipe allows you to extend the shelf life one month for fresh produce from the farm stand or garden harvest, how wonderful!
Interested in another unheated and nutrient preserving way to preserve raw veggies and promote digestive health? Look to “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon or “Wild Fermentation” by Sangor Katz for how to lacto fermented!
Below is the recipe from The Kitchn, where there are some prep tips and additional flavoring ideas - enjoy!
1 pound fresh vegetables, such as cucumbers, carrots, green beans, summer squash, or cherry tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill, or rosemary (optional)
1 to 2 teaspoons whole spices, such as black peppercorns, coriander, or mustard seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon dried herbs or ground spices (optional)
2 cloves garlic, smashed or sliced (optional)
1 cup vinegar, such as white, apple cider, or rice
1 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt, or 2 teaspoons pickling salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
Chef's knife and cutting board
2 wide-mouth pint jars with lids
Canning funnel (optional)
Prepare the jars. Wash 2 wide-mouth pint jars, lids, and rings in warm, soapy water and rinse well. Set aside to dry, or dry completely by hand.
Prepare the vegetables. Wash and dry the vegetables. Peel the carrots. Trim the end of beans. Cut vegetables into desired shapes and sizes.
Add the flavorings. Divide the herbs, spices, or garlic you are using between the jars.
Add the vegetables. Pack the vegetables into the jars, making sure there is a 1/2 inch of space from the rim of the jar to the tops of the vegetables. Pack them in as tightly as you can without smashing.
Make the brine. Place the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar (if using) in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the brine over the vegetables, filling each jar to within 1/2 inch of the top. You might not use all the brine.
Remove air bubbles. Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more brine if necessary.
Seal the jars. Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings until tight.
Cool and refrigerate. Let the jars cool to room temperature. Store the pickles in the refrigerator. The pickles will improve with flavor as they age — try to wait at least 48 hours before cracking them open.