How to Make Quick Pickles – Guest Post by Megan Thompson
When I heard that my friend Megan Thompson was making “Quick Pickles” with her co-op cucumbers this week, I asked her to show us how to do it. She did not disappoint! You can read more about Megan in her bio at the bottom of the page. On to the pickle-making…
I was very excited when Alysa asked me to write a guest blog about Quick Pickles. My family loves pickles and, luckily, they are quick and easy to make. Pickles can be a great tasting, healthy addition to almost any summer meal or to enjoy as a snack!
The term “pickles” in North America and Canada often refers to pickled cucumbers, although a pickle is really any type of fruit of vegetable that is marinated in a brine or acid solution (usually vinegar), resulting in a very flavorful method of food preservation.
Traditional pickling techniques involve brining in a salt water solution until fermentation occurs (like Korean kimchi). Or, making an acidic pickling liquid, processing in a hot water bath/canner and then waiting 4-5 weeks before eating. I prefer the “quick pickle” method in which you pack your jars with raw veggies of choice, make a pickling solution, pour over top veggies and chill for 4-24 hours.
I was pleasantly surprised with the result, as was my then 3 year old daughter. The pickles were cool and crunchy (how I like my pickles) with a crisp and clean taste from the abundance of fresh dill wedged between the cucumber spears. The recipes from this article are super easy as they do not require heating the pickling liquid; you simply mix and pour it over the veggies and chill.
Last week I received 10 small cucumbers in my Bountiful Basket and knew immediately what I would do with them….make pickles! This time I decided to try another recipe from the Food and Wine article, Winey-Briny Quick Pickles. The pickling solution includes mustard seeds, white wine, shallots and fresh tarragon. Tarragon is one of the four fine herbs of French cooking with an aromatic property reminiscent of anise (licorice flavor).
First, select your veggies: cucumbers (any kind will work but “Kirby” cucumbers or “pickling cucumbers” will yield a crisper pickle), carrots, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, onions, radishes, rhubarb etc. I made a second batch with some small pesticide-free cucumbers I found at Sunflower Market and they worked great!
Then slice veggies into desired shapes. I did mostly spears, along with some “chips” from the ends after cutting the pickles down to stand just inside the lip of the jar.
I am a Tucson native and obtained a degree in Physiology from the University of Arizona. I am a mother of two energentic little girls, Madeline 4 years old and Kendall 1 year old. My husband and I went through the fire academy while dating. We married and both worked as Firefighter Paramedics for over 10 years. After having kids, I decided to take a break from the fire dept. to stay at home and raise my girls. My passions include cooking, sewing, photography and travel. Each summer I participate in a local fundraiser called Primavera Cooks! where I work as an apprentice chef in some of the city’s high-end restaurants, cooking fancy wine-paired meals to raise money for Tucson’s homeless. I grew up in the kitchen, and have a love for the food my great grandmothers (from Czech Repulic and Lithuania) used to cook. I try to cook a healthy, delicious, hot meal for my family every night, and am greatly enjoying teaching my 4 year old how to cook along side me. I believe that it is very important to teach our youngsters how to cook, carry on family tradtions and learn healthy eating habits and choices!