I’m in sort of a pickle.
I used to hate pickles, actually I couldn’t stand pickles. My two least favorite foods were mayonnaise and pickles, and definitely not together. But this summer our family friends (The Schluter’s) brought us a basket brimming with fabulous cucumbers. What does one do with a bushel of cucumbers? You make pickles! Therefore, I had to find a recipe that would break me of my picklephobia.
My mom found a recipe created by Alton Brown that appeared easy enough. The ingredients weren’t too outlandish and the instructions were straight-forward. So we took the plunge and recipe tested. After a week of letting them ruminate in the fridge, we finally got to try our cucumber concoction. I have two words for you: Game. Changer. Unlike any other pickle I’ve tasted, and I mean that in only the best sense. Crunchy, sweet, and tangy. The subtleties of the flavor are what make it so tasty. It’s not overpoweringly tangy from the vinegar like many homemade pickles are. A great mix of sweet and savory. I could see myself adding a bit of heat to the recipe to give it a bit more pizzazz, but besides that, I wouldn’t change a darn thing.
Bread & Butter Pickles
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 medium cucumbers (or 5 baby cucumbers), thinly sliced
1 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (or ground mustard)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (can be easily omitted)
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
1. Combine onion and cucumber slices in a clean spring-top mason jar.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 4 full minutes.
3. Slowly pour the hot pickling liquid over the onion and cucumber slices, completely filling each jar. Allow the pickles to cool to room temperature before topping off with any remaining pickling liquid. Refrigerate.
4. Give the pickles 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator to ripen. Will keep for approximately 2 months in the refrigerator.
The only changes we made to the original recipe were that we omitted turmeric and used ground mustard instead of mustard seed. I would be interested to see how turmeric might change the flavor and color of the pickles. Turmeric helps give pickles that deep yellow-green color and boasts a myriad of health benefits. It’s used in a lot of Indian dishes and has become popular in health food circles.
So try this recipe ASAP, because it’s sort of a big dill! This could be the pickle that transforms you from a pickle hater to a pickle lover… I know it did for me!