Quick and Easy Pickles
- 3 1/2 ounces sea salt (about 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 8 cups bottled water
- 1 1/2 pounds kirby cucumbers, thoroughly washed and dried
- Few sprigs fresh dill, washed and dried
Pickling vegetables refers to the simple process of submerging them in a salt and water solution (brine) or an acidic ingredient like vinegar. In very simple terms, the good bacteria that exists naturally on vegetables consumes the starches/sugars in the vegetable and secretes acids (namely lactic acid) that prevent spoilage. More importantly, the process adds flavor to vegetables, gives them brightness and acidity and, in some cases, increases their vitamin content! At the restaurant, after making these pickles, we cut them into spears; batter dip and deep fry them and serve them with spicy mayonnaise. Indulgent and delicious!
Mix the sea salt, apple cider vinegar, and water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the brine from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Arrange the cucumbers upright in a container large enough to hold the brine. Place the dill sprigs in amongst the cucumbers in the jars. The cucumbers should be fitted tightly and should come within 1/2-inch of the top of the container.
Fill the container with the brine to the top and tap on a flat surface to remove any possible air bubbles.
Recipe courtesy Alex Guarnaschelli