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Raw & Fermented Side Dishes

Four Easy Pickle Recipes

pickle-recipes

The cucumbers are ripe in the Small Footprint garden, and with the amount in my garden and my CSA box, it seemed like a good time to make pickles. And with so many things ripe in the garden right now, once I got started, I caught a “pickle bug” and just couldn’t stop.

Here are four easy pickle recipes that, if made with vinegar, can be ready to eat almost right after making them—speed pickles!

Or, for probiotic bounty and digestive health, you can leave out the vinegar and make these pickles traditionally by fermenting them in brine—in which case they will be ready in a week or two.

You will need one 32-ounce (1 quart) canning jar and three 16 ounce canning jars for these recipes, or you can adjust the recipes for larger or smaller jars.

If you are going to ferment these pickles in brine, a special airlock lid for your wide-mouth canning jar is extremely helpful. An airlock lid releases excess carbon dioxide from the jar automatically without needing to regularly “burp” the lid by hand. It keeps all oxygen out which helps create the highest amount of healthy gut bacteria (probiotics) possible in your ferment, and prevents mold. (where to find fermenting crocks and airlock jar lids online)

Small Footprint Sour Pickles

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs. cucumbers, either sliced into 1/4″ rounds, or use small, whole gherkin type (I like to use huge, sliced Armenian cucumbers for this one)
  • 2 cups pure, filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. Herbes de Provence (a traditional mix of dry, crumbled oregano, thyme, basil, sage, savory, lavender flowers and rosemary, recipe here.)
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. bay leaves, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. dried, crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 head fresh flowering dill or 2 Tbsp. dried dill
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • 2 fresh grape, cherry, oak or horseradish leaves (if available)
  • 1 cup raw cider vinegar (Optional for speed pickles. Do not use if fermenting.)

Directions

  1. Rinse cucumbers, and if large, slice them into 1/4″ thick slices. If small, leave them whole.
  2. Dissolve sea salt in water to create a brine solution. Stir until salt is dissolved. Add vinegar, only if making speed pickles.
  3. In a clean, sterile 1 quart jar, place all spices, dill and garlic.
  4. Add cucumber slices or whole, small cucumbers.
  5. Pour brine over the cucumbers until jar is almost full. Add more water if necessary. Leave about an inch of room at the top.
  6. Lay grape (or oak, cherry, etc.) leaves over the top of the mixture to keep the cucumbers submerged under the liquid. The tannins in the leaves help keep the cucumbers crisp.
  7. Close the jar and leave on your counter for 3-7 days (or longer if you prefer) until naturally pickled by fermentation. Unless you are using an airlock lid, loosen the jar lid a little every two days to let built-up carbon dioxide out.
  8. Or, if using vinegar for speed pickles, refrigerate for about an hour until chilled.
  9. Enjoy!

Garlic Pickled Mustard Greens

(Adapted from Herb Companion)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mustard greens (or kale, if you wish), washed, de-veined and shredded
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 cup pure, filtered water
  • 1/3 cup raw apple cider vinegar (Optional for speed pickles. Do not use if fermenting.)

Directions

  1. Mix greens and garlic well and pack into a clean, sterile 16-ounce glass jar until about 3/4 full.
  2. Dissolve sea salt in water to create a brine solution. Stir until salt is dissolved, then add vinegar, if making speed pickles.
  3. Pour liquid into jar to cover greens and garlic. Add more filtered water if necessary so you only leave about an inch of room at the top.
  4. Close the jar and leave on your counter for 3-7 days (or longer if you prefer) until naturally pickled by fermentation. Unless you are using an airlock lid, loosen the jar lid a little every two days to let built-up carbon dioxide out.
  5. Or, if using vinegar for speed pickles, refrigerate for about an hour until chilled.
  6. To serve, gently rinse pickled greens in a colander and then toss with a little olive oil.
  7. Enjoy!

Herbal Heirloom Tomato Pickles

(Adapted from Herb Companion)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups firm, heirloom tomatoes, vertically quartered (try mixing different kinds, including green or cherry tomatoes in your batch!)
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs of your choice, chopped (I like to use lemon basil and oregano)
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup pure, filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh juice of lemons or limes (optional)
  • 1/3 cup raw cider vinegar (Optional for speed pickles. Do not use if fermenting.)

Directions

  1. Place tomato slices, garlic and other herbs into a clean, sterile 16-ounce glass jar until about 3/4 full.
  2. Dissolve sea salt in water to create brine solution. Stir until salt is dissolved, then add vinegar, if using.
  3. Add lemon or lime juice to the mixture, if using.
  4. Pour liquid in jar to cover tomatoes and herbs. Add more filtered water if necessary, so you only leave about an inch of room at the top.
  5. Close the jar and leave on your counter for 3-7 days (or longer if you prefer) until naturally pickled by fermentation. Unless you are using an airlock lid, loosen the lid a little every two days to let built-up carbon dioxide out.
  6. Or, if using vinegar for speed pickles, refrigerate for about an hour until chilled.
  7. Enjoy!

Rosemary and Sage Zucchini Pickles

(Adapted from Herb Companion)

Ingredients

  • 1 small red or white onion, very thinly sliced OR 1 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 2 cups zucchini or yellow summer squash, sliced into rounds
  • 2 to 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 to 8 sage leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup pure, filtered water
  • 1/3 cup raw cider vinegar (Optional for speed pickles. Do not use if fermenting.)

Directions

  1. Mix sliced zucchini, onion and herbs and tightly pack into a clean, sterile 16-ounce glass jar until about 3/4 full.
  2. Dissolve sea salt in water to create brine solution. Stir until salt is dissolved, then add vinegar, if using.
  3. Pour liquid into jar to cover zucchini and herbs. Add more filtered water if necessary so you only leave about an inch of room at the top.
  4. Close the jar and leave on your counter for 3-7 days (or longer if you prefer) until naturally pickled by fermentation. Unless you are using an airlock lid, loosen the lid a little every two days to let built-up carbon dioxide out.
  5. Or, if using vinegar for speed pickles, refrigerate for about an hour until chilled.
  6. Enjoy!

Photo credit: Howard Lee Puckett – Herb Companion


Leave a Comment

27 Comments

  • I like my mom’s sour pickles and bread and butter pickles. My grandma used to make pickles with hot peppers in them… those were pretty interesting. :)
    Thanks as always for linking-up at the Healthy Tuesday hop!

  • Oh! I’m so happy to see a recipe for pickled greens! We do not have many cucumbers this year but we have lots of kale and I’ve been wondering what on earth to do with it. I think I am going to give this a try. Thank you so much for sharing this at the HomeAcre Hop: http://wp.me/p2urYY-13p

  • Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you have a fabulous holiday weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  • Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays recipe party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) YAY! Thanks for helping us build a wonderful Gluten Free Community! Its great to connect! See you next Friday! Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  • These are really good recipes. I have a link party on Wednesdays, and I would love it if you would link this and any other posts. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party. It runs from Wednesday to Sundays.
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2012/08/tangerine-toner-and-wednesdays-adorned.html
    I hope to see you there. I am your newest follower, and I would love for your to follow me also. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com

  • Wow what great recipes. Thanks for sharing at The Gathering Spot this week. I have lots of kale so I’m going to try the garlic pickled kale recipe. I love my garlic!

  • I love your recipes. Thanks for sharing. I am just getting ready to start fermenting. After you have the veggies fermented on the counter do you need to put them in different containers and refrigerate them or do you use two part lids and seal them or exactly what from that point please. Thank you!!!

    • I usually ferment in a mason jar with two part lids on the counter, leaving the lid loose to let gas escape. Then I tighten the lid and put the whole thing into the fridge when it’s done.

  • Beautiful picture! These recipes sound so delicious – I have really gotten into fermenting veggies lately and mixed veggies are the ones that I enjoy most. I am really intrigued with the mustard greens recipe – I have been trying different ways to add more greens into our diet since we are folic acid deficient and this sounds like a fun way. I’m not a big fan of traditional sauerkraut, but cabbage with a variety of veggies and herbs I really enjoy.

  • Whoa, whoa whoa…. those are some amazing sounding pickle recipes!! I’ve never seen anything like the rosemary and sage zucchini pickle. I might just have to try that! I like fermenting my cukes with just dill seed, garlic and chile flakes, but sometimes like mustard seed in there too.

    I’ll let you know when I try any of these!

    Oh, also, at my blog (www.realfoodmyway.blogspot.com) there is a tutorial on making brined pickles. It was written in July and is called Of Probiotics and Pickles. Enjoy!

    • Thanks! I can’t take full credit. Herb Companion is a great inspiration for me. I hope you enjoy them.

  • Wonderful sounding recipes.
    I shared my long brined crock dills with vinegar to can on Real Food Wednesdays today. Not the optimum way to go but when you become inundated with dozens and dozens of pickling cucs and there’s no way you can eat them up in a reasonable amount of time – canning them was the best solution for me.
    I really like the way you fermented the many different veggies. Picture is beautiful. Going to give some of these a try with more veggies as they continue to come before the growing season is over till next year.
    But could you please explain the parts in the recipes…..using vinegar then saying optional for speed pickles – do not use if fermenting??? I would just like to understand better what you are saying here.

    • If you use vinegar in the recipe, you have speed pickles–pickles that are ready to eat that night. If you brine ferment them, omit the vinegar, it is overkill. The veggies in brine alone will naturally sour better without vinegar over a week or two, and continue to sour even in the fridge.

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