Looking for a first pickle to make? Pick this recipe. It’s easy and delicious — every year I make a couple of batches, to keep friends and family in supply. Kirby is the go-to cucumber here, and sweet onions such as Vidalia work well if they’re local. Excerpted from © 2010 by Sherri Brooks Vinton, photography by Kevin Kennefick, used with permission from Storey Publishing.
Makes about 7 pints
- 5 pounds cucumbers, ends removed, sliced into 1/4-inch coins
- 1 pound large onions, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 cups ice cubes
- 4 cups distilled white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons mustard seed
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
Layer the cukes and onions with 1/2 cup of the salt in a large bowl and cover with a layer of ice cubes. Set aside for 2 hours. Drain and rinse in a colander.
Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seed, peppercorns, celery seed, turmeric, and the remaining 1 tablespoon salt in a large nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the drained vegetables and return to a boil, stirring to ensure that all of the vegetables are heated through. Remove from the heat.
Refrigerate: Ladle into bowls or jars. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Can: Use the boiling-water method. Ladle into clean, hot pint canning jars, covering the pickles by 1/4 inch with liquid. Leave 1/4 inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid. Release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean; center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands. Process for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, remove canner lid, and let jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
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