Simple Summer Pickles
Yield: 6 pint jars
Summer is fleeting, so why not capture some of its beauty by making these simple and delicious pickles? You can choose to make them spicy or keep them mild. I have recommended three types of veggies so you will have a colorful display. If you like pickled stone fruit, such as cherries or plums, just double the sugar and add 2 crushed cinnamon sticks to the pickling spices.
- 2 pounds organic carrots, ends trimmed and peeled Add to list
- 2 pounds organic English cucumbers Add to list
- 1 pound organic green beans, trimmed Add to list
- 6 cups white wine vinegar (or substitute 2 cups of apple cider vinegar for 2 cups of the white wine vinegar) Add to list
- 1 cup water Add to list
- 1 cup unrefined white sugar Add to list
- 1/4 cup kosher salt Add to list
- 1/4 cup pickling spices (found in the bulk spice section at PCC) or make your own Add to list
- 6 widemouthed pint jars Add to list
- 6 garlic cloves Add to list
- Dill or fennel sprigs Add to list
- 3 jalapeño chiles, or your favorite chiles, cut in half lengthwise (optional) Add to list
- Lemon slices (optional) Add to list
Cut the carrots into strips and trim them to 3/4 inch shorter than the inside of the jar. Cut the cucumbers into 1/8-inch-thick slices on the diagonal. Blanch the green beans in boiling, salted water for about 3 minutes and refresh in cold water.
Place the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pickling spices in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the spices steep while you are preparing the jars.
Wash and rinse the jars; bring to a boil in a large pot, turn down heat and let stand in hot water until ready to use. In a smaller pot, bring lids and rings to a boil; turn down heat and let stand in hot water until ready to use.
Crush the garlic cloves and place 1 in each jar. If you like spicy pickles, place 1/2 jalapeño in each jar. Divide the carrots, cucumbers and beans between the jars, (putting only one kind of veggie in each). Pack them in tightly as they will shrink a bit in the brine. Tuck in the dill or fennel sprigs (and lemon slices if you like), as you pack the jars.
Strain the vinegar. Carefully fill the jars with the hot vinegar to 1/2 inch of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put the filled jars in boiling water to cover. A canning pot works great, since it has a rack in the bottom to keep the jars from rattling around. Boil 8 to 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 feet above sea level). Remove from the water with long tongs or canning tongs. Let jars cool. Check the seals — lids should be sucked down. These will last about 2 to 3 months in the refrigerator once opened.
Recipe by, PCC Chef
Source: Demonstrated on KING 5's "Gardening with Ciscoe" show, which aired on June 30, 2012.
ABOUT OUR CHEF: Lynne Vea
Lynne Vea is a graduate of the Executive Chef Program at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and has been cooking with PCC Natural Markets since 2001. Featured on King-5’s "Gardening with Ciscoe," she demonstrates easy and delicious recipes using seasonal ingredients.
Lynne is an admired PCC Cooks instructor, teaching a variety of popular PCC Cooks classes throughout the year.
She loves to collect old cookbooks, hunt for wild berries, and cook seven-course dinners where the guests are encouraged to dance and cavort between courses.
Find more recipes from Lynne.