Pickles… one of those staple foods Portland has elevated to a high art form. Not just a condiment for sandwiches and burgers any longer, the pickle has gone through a Renaissance period as of late, finding their way to our plates by way of adventurous Asian-infused menus and the now ubiquitous house charcuterie boards, without which no new Portland eatery is complete. You, too, can have your own house-made pickles, and it couldn’t be easier (not to mention dirt cheap)! If you have ever fancied dipping a toe into home fermentation pickles are a great and easy place to start. And it doesn’t get any easier than this recipe for fridge pickles: pickles that aren’t canned, and rely on the cold comfy confines of your refrigerator to preserve them for weeks on end. Why not give it a shot? Happy National Pickle Day!
Quick Fridge Pickles
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon pickling salt
- 5 cucumbers
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 sprigs of fresh Dill, coarsely chopped
- Put sugar, vinegar, mirin, peppercorns and salt into a non-reactive bowl. Whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Slice your cucumbers into spears by cutting them into quarters lengthwise, or, using a mandoline with a crinkle cutting function (like this one from OXO) cut them on the bias into 1/8″ to 1/4″ slices.
- Slide the cucumber spears or pile the cucumber slices into the jars along with some of the chopped dill. Place the canning funnel on each jar and fill with the brine, making sure to cover the cucumbers completely.
- Put the whole mix in the fridge and leave them to marinate for at least 4 hours.
- Serve, icy cold out of the fridge if you can. Fridge pickles should keep for up to 2 months.
There is no rule limiting you to cucumbers. Use the same recipe and experiment with other types of vegetables. We particularly like beets, especially in a winter green salad.