Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mixed Sour Refrigerator Pickles

(6 pints)

I intended to pickle a few cucumbers, but when I got to the farmers' market last week, I decided mixed vegetables would be nicer.

The spices I used for these were a bit different than what I usually go for because the grocery store I went to didn't have what I needed and I wasn't in the mood to drive all over town in the heat looking for stuff, so I used yellow mustard seeds and fennel seeds instead. The fennel is quite nice, I think.

They say refrigerator pickles should be consumed within a month or so, but I have had the odd jar last up to 3 or 4 months in my refrigerator (and it's been fine); mainly because I put something larger in front and forgot they were there. This batch might not even last a month because I'm already working on the second jar.

These pickles are on the sour side. If you prefer something a bit more mellow then replace some or all of the vinegar with rice vinegar.

You might have to adjust the ingredients slightly
2 3/4 cups water
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3 tbsp agave nectar
1-2 tbsp kosher salt, to taste
1 small piece of ginger, peeled and sliced

4-5 small zucchini
1/2 lb green beans
4-6 small cucumbers
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1 bell pepper
4 medium carrots,

1-2 tbsp mustard seed
1-2 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp peppercorns

6-9 cloves of garlic, to taste, chopped or sliced
1 small bunch fresh dill
6 bay leaves

Thoroughly wash the pint jars in very hot water or run them through the dishwasher.

Clean, seed and cut up the vegetables into sticks and/or slices, sized to fit the pint jars. They ended up generously filling a 2 quart measure I have.

Bring the water, vinegars, agave nectar and salt to boil in a non-reactive pot. Add the ginger and simmer for about two minutes, remove from heat.

Lightly crush the mustard, fennel and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or use a rolling pin and crush them on a cutting board.

Divide the seeds and peppercorns evenly among the jars. Divide and arrange the vegetables, garlic, and dill sprigs in the jars. You can lightly pack in the vegetables as they will shrink a bit as they marinate. Place one bay leaf into each jar.

Ladle the brine into each jar. Divide the ginger slices and add those to the jars. If it looks like there's not enough brine then just make up the difference with a bit of extra water to each jar.  Cover with a lid and refrigerate. Allow to marinate at least 4-5 days. I like to shake the jars every day, but I'm not certain if that's necessary.


Kait said...

This sounds so great! Any particular reason you chose agave over other sweeteners?

Gerlinde in Washington said...

I just happened to have a bottle of agave nectar, otherwise I might have tried something else.

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