Quick pickles inspire faster consumption – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Easy fridge dill pickles start with fresh cucumbers, which are widely available at farmers markets in late summer. [Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

The old fashioned bread and butter pickles are flavored with brown sugar and onion, with the turmeric adding a nice golden hue. [Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Marinated peaches are easy to prepare and will add a surprising summer flavor to ice cream or pound cake. [Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Marinated peaches are easy to prepare and will add a surprising summer flavor to ice cream or pound cake. [Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Quick and easy recipes are not limited to cucumbers

The adoration of pickles amid the ambivalence toward cucumbers might seem like a strange contradiction.

However, most of my adult years have been spent in this opposite camp. Commercially canned pickles were pantry staples while I shrugged off freshly picked cucumbers from the garden, especially the lemon variety my family prefers.

Then I learned to appreciate the usefulness of cucumbers at a time of year when green salads are starting to disappear from our menus. A quick bowl of pickled cucumbers on my family’s table makes a palate-cleansing side dish with just about any summer meal: roast chicken, Thai curry, turkey meatloaf, even macaroni au homemade cheese with sautéed chard or green cabbage. And that’s before you even consider layering them on burgers or sandwiches.

I should probably thank my youngest son, a vegetable lover but a particular aficionado of all things pickled. Raw turnips and onions tempt his appetite even more than pickles. Taking inspiration from traditional Mexican taquerias, I extended our quick carrot and radish pickles. Chilies that I have marinated before in larger batches towards the end of the gardening season for longer storage in the fridge.

But preserving in small batches protects the schedule of the home cook and gardener at the height of summer’s yield. Slice a few cucumbers and toss with a cup of salty and sweet vinegar. That’s it. I don’t even bother to transfer them to a jar unless there are leftovers – a rarity after family meals.

Pickling in small batches – and eating quickly – also works well for lemon cucumbers, which are too shabby and juicy to stay brined in the fridge for long. After a few days, they begin to disintegrate. So for a product that will keep for up to a month, I choose a real variety of pickles, although common sliced ​​types and even Persian and Armenian cucumbers work well for just a few pints of pickles.

Since these pickles are not intended for long-term storage at room temperature, consider the amounts of product to vinegar solution more than a ratio. While a traditional canning recipe must be strictly followed, there is wiggle room for foods stored at 40 degrees or lower. Just be sure to wash the produce thoroughly and pack it in clean, covered containers, preferably glass.

If you only have a pound or half a dozen cucumbers, divide the liquid ingredients accordingly. When the amount of brine is more than I need to cover the vegetables, I store it in the fridge for another batch. The amounts of sugar or salt can also be adjusted without fear of compromising the safety of the final product.

A critical mass of sugar, however, can go a long way in sweetening dull fruit picked unripe and shipped to grocery stores. For stone fruits that won’t go soft on the counter but are starting to get mealy, a quick pickling solution can save them. For ripe—but not soft—peaches, the following recipe brings out their natural sweetness and makes a tangy complement to ice cream and pound cake.

But don’t stop there. I marinated grapes, apples and cranberries in the fall to accompany richer meals in the cold season. They are worth making in larger quantities, perhaps, to enjoy with cheese and charcuterie platters. Same goes for quick cucumber pickles – if you have any left.

Contact Managing Editor Sarah Lemon at 541-776-4494 or [email protected]

pickle bread and butter

2 pounds pickled cucumbers, thinly sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/2 large sweet onion, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cups of sugar

2 cups white vinegar

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 to 3 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 teaspoon of celery seeds

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

In large shallow bowl, combine cucumbers, onions and salt; cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

Remove the cucumbers to a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Drain well and return the vegetables to the bowl.

In a medium saucepan, combine granulated sugar, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds and ground turmeric. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and cook for 1 minute.

Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the cucumber mixture. Cool to room temperature, then pour into quart jars or other airtight containers and refrigerate 24 hours. store in an airtight container.

Easy Fridge Dill Pickles

12 pickled cucumbers

4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved

3 teaspoons mustard seeds

3 teaspoons peppercorns

1 bunch of dill sprigs

4 cups distilled white vinegar

1/2 cup cane sugar

4 tablespoons of sea salt

Cut the cucumbers lengthwise into quarters or eighths, depending on how fat the cucumber is and how fat you want the pickles. To make dill pickle chips, thinly slice them horizontally.

Divide the sliced ​​cucumbers into 4 glass jars (8 ounces). Divide garlic, mustard seeds and peppercorns among jars; add a few sprigs of dill to each jar.

In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt with 4 cups of water; bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve, about 1-2 minutes. Cool slightly and pour over cucumbers. Set the jars aside to cool to room temperature, then place them in the fridge.

Pickles will get tastier the longer they sit in the fridge. They can be stored for several weeks.

Quick pickle with red onions

1 medium red onion (about 8 ounces), peeled

1 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 teaspoons spices, such as black or pink peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, or juniper berries (optional)

Prepare a spotlessly clean 1 1/2 cup glass jar with an airtight lid.

Using a sharp knife or mandolin, cut the onion into 1/8-inch-thick slices, from the stem end to the root. Put the onion slices in a colander in the sink, separating the slices into rings.

Pour 3 cups of boiling water over the onion rings. Pack them in a jar.

In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and spices, if using, and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour into the jar, pack the onion rings so that they are completely submerged and close the lid. Cool completely on counter before use, 1-2 hours (but flavor will improve over next 2 days). Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Recipe from “Paris Tasting” by Clotilde Dussoulier.

Quick pickled peaches

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 (2 inch) cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces

4 large peaches peeled slightly firm

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except peaches with 1 1/2 cups of water; bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

Remove from fire; let stand 10 minutes. Cut each peach into 12 wedges. Add the peaches to the vinegar mixture and let sit for 20 minutes. Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon.

Makes about 2 cups.

— Recipe adapted by Tribune News Service from cookinglight.com

Quick Pickled Apples

1 cup white wine vinegar

1 cup of honey

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon whole allspice berries

1 teaspoon of salt

1 whole nutmeg, crushed

1 vanilla pod, split

1 1/2 pounds sweet/tart apples such as Braeburn or Gala

In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar and honey with 1 cup of water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the cinnamon, allspice, salt, nutmeg and split vanilla bean. Cover and simmer gently for 8-10 minutes to blend the flavors.

While the liquid simmers, core and quarter the apples (no need to peel). Cut each quarter lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place in a non-reactive bowl.

Once the liquid has simmered, remove it from the heat and pour the liquid and spices over the apples. Weigh the apples using a heavy plate so that they remain submerged in the liquid.

Refrigerate the apples for at least a day to give the flavors time to develop. Pickles will last, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.

Yields a generous litre.

Quick Pickled Cranberries

2 cups cider vinegar

2 cups of water

2 cups maple syrup

3 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon whole cloves

4 whole star anise

The zest of 2 oranges (the zest cut into long strips using a vegetable peeler or a knife)

About 1 tablespoon very thinly sliced ​​fresh ginger slices

2 bags (10 ounces) fresh cranberries (or frozen, thawed)

In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar and maple syrup with 2 cups of water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the cinnamon, cloves, star anise, orange zest and ginger. Cover and simmer gently for 8-10 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the cranberries to the liquid. As soon as the liquid simmers again, remove from the heat.

Pour the cranberries, liquid and spices into a non-reactive bowl. Weigh the cranberries using a heavy plate so that they remain submerged in the liquid.

Refrigerate the cranberries for at least a day to give the flavors time to develop. Pickles will last, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.

Yields a generous litre.