Can't wait for the fruits of summer? If the snow has just melted or your garden hasn't produced a crop of cucumbers this year, you still have options. Persian cucumbers are sold in many parts of the country. Seek them out if you want to evoke the taste of summer with cocktails, garden salads and perhaps the most resonant dish of all — bread-and-butter pickles. It's one of the few food items equally welcomed in vegetarian households and backyard cookouts, despite being vegan and fermented.
Treated as condiments, bread-and-butter pickles work well tucked next to a grilled hamburger or beside a smoky hot dog. When paired with beer, the combination of savory and sweet is a delight. If meat is not your thing, try these pickles with potato salad or to cool down a dish that's too high on the hot-o-meter. Pop one into your mouth and you'll be treated to a sweet and sour combo that rolls over the tongue in waves.
And in case you don't know, Persian cucumbers are petite versions of the garden variety typically found in the produce section. They are thin-skinned, unwaxed and nearly seedless, which makes them super easy to eat raw and even easier to prepare.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 45 minutes, including brining
Yields: 10 cucumbers worth of pickles
Bread and Butter Pickles
Equipment you'll need
- Chef's knife
- Medium- sized mixing bowl
- Cutting board
- 6-cup sealable glass jar with lid, scrubbed
- Small saucepan
Photos: Enrique Gili
- 10 Persian cucumbers, sliced
- 1 green pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced
- Half yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2.5 cups white cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon pickling seasoning
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- Rinse and prep vegetables. Cut cucumbers into 1/4 inch sections and cut peppers, onion and garlic to size. Place in a mixing bowl with salt and fold. Cover with a plate and set aside for 3 hours.
- Drain mixing bowl of briny water and place cut vegetable in glass jar to about the shoulder.
- Meanwhile, make the pickling solution. Bring vinegar to a low boil over medium heat along with pickling spices. Slowly stir in sugar until completely dissolved, about 10 minutes.
- Slowly pour solution into glass jar until vegetables are covered in liquid. Seal jar and allow pickles to cool prior to placing in fridge, about 45 minutes. Pickles are ready to eat when chilled overnight giving time for flavors to fuse.
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