It’s easy to pick up a jar of pickles at the store. There are plenty of brands to choose from and they are great to keep in the fridge as a burger or sandwich topper or even for a quick snack. I’ve definitely been known to dive fork-first into the pickle jar – and know I’m not alone. But this summer, use your garden’s bounty to make your own pickles at home.
These quick pickles pickle quickly – that’s why we call them quickles. You can control the salt content and the flavor when you make them yourself and experiment with pickling different vegetables – not just cucumbers. Try summer squash, onions, cabbage, beets and even brussel sprouts. Whatever you see in the grocery store, pick fresh from the garden, or have plenty of in the kitchen.
First, you’ll need some jars. We found these at our local grocery store, but you can buy them online or use some that you already have on-hand. If you go crazy for canning in the summer (one of our staff members makes delicious tomato jam every year), you likely have plenty to use in the pantry already.
To each jar, add pickling spice, a bay leaf, a sprig of dill and ½ a clove of garlic.
Then divide your veggies into the jars. We used mini cucumbers for the classic pickles (their height was perfect for our jars). You could slice them into spears or leave them whole. We cut summer squash into thin slices, layering it with a little bit of sliced shallot. We also thinly sliced red onion for pickling.
In a large bowl, stir together vinegar, salt, and sugar. Pour boiling water over the vinegar mixture, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved. We used our Hamilton Beach® electric kettle to quickly boil water for our pickling process.
Divide the vinegar mixture evenly between the jars using a funnel or a measuring cup. Let the soon-to-be pickles stand for about an hour until they’ve cooled to room temperature. Then cover with the lids and store.
You can eat these quickles as soon as 24 hours later if you are in need of a quick pickle fix, but you can store them for up to 3 months.
Not only are these homemade quick pickles a beautiful gift to give to friends and family throughout the summer, they’re the perfect way to stretch the shelf life of your summer produce.
Whether you’re serving homemade pickles alongside your favorite grilled burgers and fries or topping Taco Tuesday staples with pickled onions, you’ll find excuses to use these quickles in recipes all summer long.