Quick Fresh Pickles

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Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

These crisp pickles are high on my list of nibbles and noshes to take on a picnic or a barbecue. They’re the perfect cool companion to spicy barbecue or lunch-counter favorites like a thick pastrami on rye. And while pickling can seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be. You can make these crunchy spears overnight with a handful of pickling cukes. The best part? No canning required.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

This recipe makes a manageable amount of pickles. (16 pickle spears, to be exact. That’s 4 pickling cukes, quartered.) It’s easily doubled or tripled, should your pickle demand be greater.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

They get a good balance of old-fashioned pickle flavor from fennel, coriander, dill, mustard—and subtle heat from a smidge of chili flakes. The brine is heated briefly to help coax pungent flavor out of the dried herbs.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

A heady mixture of rice wine vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, and sugar give these pickles a hint of sweetness and good amount of tang.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Pickling spice and everything nice

Hey, Mouse! What are all those seeds and spices, anyway?

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Dill Seed

Dill seed is brown-ish and flat, and is actually the dried fruit of the dill plant. Heating it brings out its flavor.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Fennel Seed

Fennel seed is the seed of the bulb-less common fennel plant (as opposed to the Florence fennel, which has a bulb—as well as stalks and fronds). It’s used in both sweet and savory recipes.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Mustard Seed

Mustard seeds come in two main varieties—white (a.k.a. yellow) and brown (a.k.a.) Asian. White seeds like the ones I bought are larger than brown ones, and are the typical seed used in most American mustards.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Coriander Seed

These seeds come from the Coriander plant, which is more commonly known as cilantro in the U.S. Their flavor is a little lemon-y with a hint of caraway. Coriander frequently shows up in pickles, mulled wine, and baked goods.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Aleppo Chili

Now, this isn’t a typical pickling spice—but it is one of my all-time favorite ways to add a little heat to a dish. These Turkish chili flakes taste kind of like ancho peppers.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Garlic cloves, halved

No pickles (at least at The Mouse House) would be quite the same without garlic. To prep the garlic, nip the ends off each clove with a knife. Remove the peel. Slice each clove in half.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Fresh Dill

I top off my pickles with a bunch of fresh dill. I use it at the end like this, since (unlike dried dill seed) the fresh herb loses its flavor quickly when heated.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Get to the pickles, Mouse. Yep, yep! Here you go.

Quick Fresh Pickles

4 large pickling cucumbers
1 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
3 Tbls. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt (for the cukes) + 2 Tbls. kosher salt (for the brine)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1/4 tsp. dill seed
1/4 tsp. Aleppo chili flakes
1/4 tsp. coriander seed
1/4 tsp. fennel seed
1/4 tsp. mustard seed
1 bunch of fresh dill

Yields 16 pickle spears

Slice and salt the cucumbers

Grab your pickling cukes. Scrub them well under cold water, then dry them off.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Slice each cucumber in half.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Then slice each side in half again, so you wind up with quarters.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Repeat with the other cucumbers. Put the cucumber spears in a medium-sized bowl.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Mix the cucumber spears around well to distribute the salt.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Let the cucumber spears sit in the bowl like this, on the counter, for about an hour. Salting the cukes like this helps draw out excess water—which in turn helps keep your pickles crunchy.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

After about an hour, your cukes will have let off a fair amount of water. Drain that off and discard.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Make the brine for the pickles

Put the rice wine vinegar, water, and white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar) in a medium-sized pot.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Toss in the sugar and 2 Tbls. of kosher salt.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Set the pot on the stove over high heat. Whisk to combine.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Bring the mixture up to a boil.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

When it starts to bubble, toss in the garlic, coriander seed, fennel seed, dill seed, mustard seed, and Aleppo chili flakes.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Whisk to combine. Take the pot off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes to help release the flavor of the herbs.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Pour the brine over the cucumbers

In the meantime, pack your cucumber spears into a smallest bowl that will hold them all. You want them to be fairly close together so that they’re all covered by the brine.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Pour the hot brine over the cucumber spears.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Trim your bunch of fresh dill so that it will fit in your bowl. Lay it on top of the pickles, so that they’re covered, like this:

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Let them sit on the counter like this until the brine cools to room temperature.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

When it’s cool, push down on the mixture with your hand.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

You want to submerge the pickles and douse the dill with brine.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Soak the cucumbers in brine overnight

Wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Set it in the fridge overnight to let the brine soak into the cukes.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Serve & enjoy

The next day, unwrap your pickles.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

And that’s it!

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

No really, that’s it! When you’re ready to serve, fish the pickles out of the brine and heap them up on a platter along with pieces of garlic and a few strands of dill.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Pickles will keep for a few weeks in the fridge�if they last that long.

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

Enjoy!

Quick Fresh Pickles at The Hungry Mouse

 

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

45 COMMENTS

  1. Now that is a pretty fantastic looking pickle! I love dills. My grandmother made wonderful pickles and last year my friend Luke Despatie shared some of his award winning pickles with me. But, both their methods take a loooong time. I love that your recipe offers more immediate gratification! I just might make them this weekend.
    • Wheee! Thanks so much! These were so easy and good, I swear I'll never can another pickle in my life. (OK, maybe not my *entire* life, but you get what I mean...) :D +Jessie
  2. WOW! Jessie, as an avowed pickle devotee, I have to say that this is a great recipe for quick pickles. I could run through a batch of these in one sitting. This is on the recipe shortlist!
  3. this was very informative, I have to say I learned a lot about the brine process of pickles. Hurley is a huge pickle fan, I have to make this for him some time :)
    • Oh, you should! (Love that Hurley!) Once you get the basic method down, you can change up the spicing however you like. Next time, I'm thinking I might add some ginger. +Jessie
  4. I had some amazing pickles when I went to the Pasadena Strawberry Festival. An old bitty bat was selling *SWEET* pickles. I nearly died on the spot, and since then have been craving them. I do like regular pickles but thanks for reminding me about my quest for sweet ones.
    • Maybe if you refrained from labeling her "An old bitty bat" you would have more luck in finding a recipe like hers?
  5. By the way we use those Turkish chili flakes all the time but it is called paprika in Germany but it isn't the paprika I was raised up on. It is bigger- softer and HOT! Cheers
  6. I am currently ADDICTED to pickles. I eat a jar or two a week, by myself (if not more). I was just thinking how I wanted to try to can my own, but because I'm lazy, that thought lasted about 2.8 seconds. These, I am trying for SURE, your recipe turned up just in time for our Farmer's Market season! Cheers!
  7. Lovely! My mom used to have these going all summer long but she would have the pickles in an immense glass jar, filled with water, and of course dill, pepper corns, etc., with a slice of bread and into the sun for a couple days. The bread would help the thing ferment a bit and turn crisp and pickle like nothing else. I think she didn't add salt to it but I am not sure - cheers! Gabi @ Mamaliga
  8. i love pickles this way! the 'half sours' or, as i call them, barely pickled pickles :) there's actually a restaurant in ri that brings these sliced to the table like most places bring bread and butter. here's another recipe if you or anyone else wants that's great - takes a few days but no canning AND no cooking either! (i just do it in the fridge the whole time, just seems easier, but you can leave it on the counter while they're getting pickly.) Find a ceramic bowl or crock to use for this. A wide mouth glass jar would also work. 1. Wash your cucumbers (~2.5lbs of the small ones) and remove blossom ends. 2. Fill your bowl 1/2 full of water 3. Add 1/4 cup of salt to water 4. Add dill heads or sprigs of fresh dill (~6) 5. Add 1T dry dill seed 6. Add 2T pickling spices & 1/4c. vinegar 7. Stir gently to distribute spices 8. Cover with weight to keep cucumber submerged-in brine 9. Cover crock with plate or clean towel 10. Check crock each day and remove any scum that forms on the top, these should be ready in 2 to 3 days. 12. At that time you must put in fridge (will last ~2 wks), they will not keep on the counter.
  9. Wow, these look delish! I made pickles last weekend. I haven't tried them yet, I did a psuedo-canning thing, where I poured a similar brine to yours in the jars along with the cucumbers, and just closed up the jars and refrigerated them. I think I might sneak one tonight...we'll see! I'm dying for a pickle now, your pictures are so tempting!
  10. hi hi! the pickle recipe looks great, i'm looking forward to having these for lunch tomorrow. quick note, 4 x 4 = 16, it could be 12 if you eat a whole pickle for sampling :D
  11. OH MY!!! I will NEVER buy a store bought pickle again! I made these yesterday and I am sitting here with my first one - for breakfast!!!! These are FANTASTIC!!! Can these be canned if I want to? I'd LOVE to send some to my father in law!
  12. To have the pickles in 1 HOUR or less!!! After preparation,pack the pickles and brine in a vacuum jar ( Foodsaver type ) and vacuum to instantly infuse the briney goodness....to enhance this process,prick the cucumbers all over with a fork before slicing, providing another entrance port for brine....also for the 1 hour pickle ,i might suggest that the garlic be crushed to instantly release its allium goodness
  13. your quick fresh pickles recipe is great but would spruce up your maths where you say "This recipe makes a manageable amount of pickles. (12 pickle spears, to be exact. That’s 4 pickling cukes, quartered.) It’s easily doubled or tripled, should your pickle demand be greater." 4 quarters are 16 : )
    • I'm watching my pickles sweat in their salt right now, and am about to set my brine on the boil. Both my husband and I are looking forward to them for tomorrow's dinner!
  14. Off to try these right now...I've got so many kirbies coming in the garden. Thank you for sharing and great photos!
  15. Hi, I just wanted to tell you that I tried this recipe and it was amazing. I am part of a fantastic women's website called BeBetsy.com and after I made your recipe I wrote a post and published it there. Please go and check it out. I made sure to give you credit for the recipe and even added a link to your blog. Hopefully you will benefit with more follower. Thank you again for such a fantastic idea. THEY ARE DELICIOUS!! and so super simple.
  16. These pickles are incredible! I made them the other day and ate half the jar in one sitting. Then, I made a relish with the remaining ones and mixed it with cooked beets and onions I had soaked in the brine for about an hour. Fantastic "pickled" beet salad without having to pickle the beets!
  17. [...] pickles are something I’ve seen in Poland, and I thought I’d try my hand at here.  So, I went to the great Internet cookbook and found a nice recipe for pickles.  After buying the necessary spices (ALL ON SALE FOR $1 EACH!!!) I set to [...]
  18. Made these pickles last week but did not rinse the pickles after allowing to sit with salt. They turned out delicious but too salty. I also used smaller pickling cues and sliced rather than quartered and family loved despite the saltiness. Just made new batch but rinsed off salt after they sat for a couple of hours so will see if this makes a positive difference. I don't care for commercial pickles but like fresh pickles. Definited added to my recipe box. Thanks.
  19. WOW! I'll never buy store bought again! Well maybe in the Winter. Didn't add the chili because I couldn't find that kind and also because my granddaughter doesn't like hot but they were really, really good.

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