Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Easy Refrigerator Pickles with Flowering Chives

These pickles are addictive, gorgeous and ridiculously easy to put together in minutes. Use whatever spices you already have on hand, a vinegar with 5% acidity and, in addition to cucumbers and red onion, any raw fresh vegetables you want. I added in the tips of some flowering chives I bought in Chinatown a week ago—besides looking lovely in the brine, they also tasted amazing and provided a contrasting spicy bite that complimented the other pickled components perfectly.

3 cups of cucumber, thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
6 gloves garlic, halved and smashed
several springs of fresh dill
several springs of flowering chives
3 cups pickling vinegar (5% acidity)
1 cup water (optional, if you want a milder-tasting pickle)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp black mustard seed

optional spices to add:

1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp caraway seed
1 tsp cumin seed
2-3 bay leaves

Pack the cucumber, onion, garlic, dill and chives nicely into 2-3 Ball jars. Combine the rest of the ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute, uncovered.

Pour the hot vinegar mixture into each of the jars and place the lid on immediately, then place in the refrigerator to marinate for 1-2 days without opening the lids. Use within two weeks.

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