Our garden is in full summer swing and now it is time to enjoy the fruits (and veg!) of our labors. I had mentioned the other week how the girls and I love to start our mornings with a walk in our garden . Their favorite part of our garden explorations is monitoring what’s growing and picking all of nature’s goodness when it’s ready. Lately we’ve had an influx of radishes and cucumbers. What’s a girl to do with all of this bounty?! I had always thought that pickles were a complicated canning process…Not so! Well at least the versions I’m sharing with you today 😉 I’ve said it many times before, I’m sincerely a no-fuss Mama , I do my best. I just don’t have it in me after chasing two wild(& amazing!!) girlies around all day. Strapping on an apron and diving into a complex recipe after a long day is not my method of stress relief. Ha! To be honest, even before kids, I was never a super chef that made intricate meals. I’ve always been about keeping it healthy and simple .
Quick pickles couldn’t be any simpler to make. Similar to our big batch cocktails of last week, our pickle recipe can be modified for size based on ratios. Your ratio of water to vinegar is 1:1. Soooo if you are adding 1 cup of rice wine vinegar, then you add 1 cup of water. Yes, it’s that easy! This is a great recipe base that you can play around with, too. For instance, if you like sweeter pickles, then add more sugar. More spicy then add a dash of red pepper flakes. Your options are pretty limitless. I like to make small batches of pickles so I can test out my mad scientist creations. There is nothing worse than making a giant jar of pickled yuck. Just ask my friend whose husband made sweet pickled celery. He refused to throw it away for over a year. But that is an entirely different story.
The size of your size jar will dictate how many veggies you will use, but the rule of thumb is to pack your jar completely with your sliced veggies, then add the brine. The recipes below are based on ½ pint mason jars (more or less) as I made a few jars of each, adding different things like fennel seeds , shallots and fresh ground black pepper (all optional of course.)
I had always thought that pickles were a complicated canning process...Not so!
1 bunch pickled radishes
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
3 ½ tablespoons honey
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Thinly slice your radishes on a mandoline slicer (1/16”). This one by XOXO is my favorite. Super duper easy to use and has a knob on the side to adjust thickness. Place in your mason jar and top with minced garlic. Set aside and place water, vinegar, honey and salt in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Pour mixture over radishes and let sit until they come to room temperature. You can serve immediately or put in the fridge. They will keep crispy for about 5-6 days but they are still great for eating for at least two weeks. You can also use this same recipe with cucumbers. I cut my cucumbers to ⅛” on the mandoline slicer and added sliced shallots (1/16”) as well.
If sweeter pickles are more your flavor, then this seasoned rice wine brine may be more your speed. (I typically cut my cucumbers to ⅛” size)
1 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher
4 English cucumbers
Slice your cucumbers to ⅛” size and place in your jar. Put seasoned rice wine vinegar, water and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Pour mixture over cucumbers and let set until room temperature. Serve immediately or they will keep in your fridge for about two weeks.
These pickled radishes and cucumbers are perfectly delicious on their own or atop salads and just as yummy as a briny condiment for sandwiches, burgers, and tacos.
Have you ever made pickles? What is your favorite vegetable to use? If you have any great recipes PLEASE share in the comments. I’m always game to try new recipes.