Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quick Dills

This month's Tigress' Can Jam focus was cucurbits or The Cucurbitaceae, picked by Laundry Etc. It's a family affair, you know? A big crazy family those cucurbits. And I totally did not rise to the challenge and make a cantaloupe jam like I wanted to. Or watermelon rind pickles. Nope. Not me. I couldn't find local melons, sadly. But I found local cucumbers and a few of them were even from the garden, so good on me. For this recipe, which is a solidly easy, crunchy pickle, I used some lovely lemon cucumbers and some mixed in double-yield picklers.

These are Quick Dill Pickles, and the recipe is from that trusty tome, The Joy of Cooking. You don't want to let these sit for too long in your pantry, as the brine is weaker and the curing quicker than for traditional pickles. This recipe is perfect for the first of the crop, so you can enjoy some pickles during the rest of the summer, while the crock brines the big haul.

Quick Dill Pickles
adapted from The Joy of Cooking

4 pounds of pickling cucumbers, sliced into 1/4 inch coins or in the case of lemon cucumbers, slice them in thick rounds, then quarter the slices. You want to go for some sort of shape uniformity.

Pack the cucumbers into hot pint jars along with a clove of garlic, a teaspoon of pickling spices, and a pinch of extra dill seed and peppercorns.

Combine in a non-reactive pot until just boiling:

3 cups cider vinegar
2 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup pickling salt

Add the hot vinegar solution to the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Process for 10 minutes.


  1. Funny I was just looking though my pantry for something else and came accross the pickling salt I forced my local grocer to precure for me :)

    Will have to try this recipe! I love not having to get up on my step stool (likely with a babe on my back) to get my book down, thanks!

  2. I bet they taste as good as they look...So pretty...

    I have never had a yellow round cucumber, but I love cucumbers...I will have to go see if I can find one in our area....

  3. Those lemon cucumbers look good and wonderfully photogenic. An important consideration for a vegetable.

  4. I agree with Gloria. You have lovely cukes. Like you, I also had thoughts of pickled watermelon rind and ended up with easy pickles this month. But you know what? Easy pickles are good!

  5. I used to grow lemon cucumbers. They are excellent, especially when young and small. I just made some pickles yesterday. Just one little jar for the fridge. An experiment with some Japanese white cucumbers and a few other goodies from SF's Japantown. I hate waiting for the flavors to mature. I might have to break into the jar today and do a taste test.

  6. Erin - Welks! I'm sure you have plenty in your garden that you need to pickle or preserve in some way!

    Echoeve - I don't know if you have a garden but they grow amazingly! Good luck on your search!

    Gloria - Indeed!

    Shae - Easy pickles are no joke. They are good to have around.

    Denise - Nothing wrong with a little taste test! Japanese white cucumbers sound amazing. Lemon cucumbers are totally prolific, aren't they?