Bread & Butter Sweet Pickles
August 7, 2011 § 3 Comments
Spiny cucs to briny pickles.
When your up to you ears in cucumbers, this is the best way to savor all of them before they cross over into inedible, limp additions to your compost pile.
Before I tried real homemade pickles, I detested everything that had to do with pickling: the smell, the juice & the odd yellow color. When I tell you my brothers would chase me around the house, waving pickles in my face to annoy me, it is no word of a lie. That memory is one that only made me detest pickles all the more. Slowly though, pickled vegetables have been reintroduced to me in a much kinder way than those yellow-dye-disasters I grew up to loathe.
Aside from the fact that they’re delicious on a sandwich, better with house cured meat, funky when thrown into a summer-time salad & just plain old fantastic by themelves, pickles are beneficial when consumbed in moderation. Anything pickled is slightly pro-biotic & aids in helping beneficial bacteria to flourish in the gut; so get to pickling. Plus, pickles are a great way to bring some summertime nostalgia into the late fall & winter (if you have that much self control). Oh & although this sounds odd, adding a couple of tablespoons of pickle juice, a tablespoon of grainy mustard & a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to a basic potato salad, then topping it with chives is an automatic crowd-pleaser (think deviled eggs).
Sweet Bread & Butter Pickles
6 cucumbers, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds, 1/2 sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced, 1 large white onion, chopped into small pieces, 2 Tbsp kosher salt, 2 cups of Apple Cider vinegar, 1 cup of sugar*, 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds, 4 cloves, 4 all spice berries, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1/8 tsp celery seeds
*These pickles are called sweet for a reason. If you prefer a less sweet, more tangy pickle, reduce the sugar by a 1/4 cup.
Combine cucumbers, onions & bell pepper in a large bowl. Toss with kosher salt. Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan bring cider vinegar & sugar to a low simmer until sugar has dissolved. Add all spices & simmer for 3-5 minutes. Add the salted cucumber mixture & cook until cucumbers begin to change color (about 5-7 minutes). Turn off heat, cover & let the cucumbers sit until they have cooled. Add cucumber mixture to sterilized jars & store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating.
I let my cucumbers pickle for a week before eating them.
The time gives them a chance to get a better brine & to soak up the tangy flavor of cider vinegar. However, they do taste great after only a couple hours, I admit, I couldn’t help but try them. This recipe works very well for cauliflower, beets & bush beans.
This recipe was adapted from my all time favorite, David Tanis’s, The Heart of an Artichoke.