Friday, August 7, 2009

Refrigerator pickles and banana peppers recipe

Refrigerator pickles and banana peppersI've been eating cucumbers on salads since they arrived in my CSA box, but I wanted to try something different with them. During the summer, my grandmother keeps a container of cucumber slices in vinegar in the refrigerator. She puts them on the table at each meal, and then adds more cucumbers from the garden when the stock is running low. I love this method - the cukes retain their crispness and fresh taste, but they also have the acidity that I love about pickles. I've often done this myself (and learned the hard way that she must dilute the vinegar), but wanted to do something a little bit closer to a traditional pickle.

Refrigerator pickles and banana peppers

3 small cucumbers, sliced thinly
1 large banana pepper, sliced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp raw sugar
2 Tbsp fresh chopped dill or 2 tsp dried dill
2 tsp mustard seed
2 tsp kosher salt

Combine cucumbers, pepper slices, garlic, and bay leaves in a bowl. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, dill, mustard seed, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and then pour this over the cucumbers. Cover the bowl, let cool, and refrigerate. The cukes and peppers are great the next day, but they develop a more intense flavor if left longer.

Weekend Herb Blogging
I can't stop eating these to the point that I'm afraid that the acid is going to tear a whole in my stomach. They're great on salads or by themselves. They definitely taste closer to a dill pickle than the ones stored only in vinegar, and it's worth the extra effort. I'm really glad that I threw the banana pepper in there - it's much better than the heavily pickled store-bought ones! After depleting some of the original stock, I tried adding more cucumber slices to the bowl as my grandmother usually does. They're good, but didn't absorb nearly as much of the vinegar flavor as the original ones and maintain more cucumber taste. If you're after a strong pickle flavor, make a new batch each time. But make sure to make a lot because they'll go faster than you could ever imagine. I'm submitting this to Weekend Herb Blogging, which is organized by Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, and is hosted by Dhanggit from Dhanggit's Kitchen this week.


Chibog in Chief said...

Mmmm this sounds a great summer entrée!! thanks for participating at WHB!!See you at the round-up!

TikiPundit said...

Wow, thanks for posting this. A must try. I'm wondering if it would work with okra too -- love those pickled.

Katie said...

Dhanggit - Thanks again for hosting! Can't wait to see the round-up!

TikiPundit - Okra would definitely work - I might just give that a try this week!

Alta said...

These sound wonderful! I love pickles, and have been contemplating making some myself! Might try this, the cucumbers are everywhere at the farmers markets right now!

Christina said...

I never knew making your own pickles was this easy! My boyfriend's mom has been burying us in her garden harvest, which includes a lot of cucumbers and banana peppers. I'm definitely going to try this once I get some fresh dill!

Katie said...

Alta and Christina - Glad you like the sound of these!! Let me know what you think if you try them out!

Anonymous said...

has anyone ever tried these with splenda instead of sugar?

Katie said...

I've never tried it with Splenda, but I'm sure that it would work fine.

EB said...

tried this and love it. left out the dill because I just don't really love dill. added some crushed red pepper and an extra sliced zavory pepper (mild habanero) because it needed to be picked. yum!!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a wonderful substitution for someone that can't have pickles due to high sodium - can these be frozen to enjoy later on? How long will they last in the fridge? Thanks!

Katie said...

I wouldn't recommend freezing them, but they last quite a while in the fridge due to the vinegar (I've left them for a month). The cucumbers will lose their crunch after a week or so, though.