Looking for something different to do with fresh cucumbers? My parents have been supplying me with some delicious vegetables from their garden--including a variety of different cucumbers. A lot of gardeners make pickles with their excess cucumbers, but to be honest, I don't like most homemade pickles, this is one area that I much prefer store-bought.
I make an exception for these "ice-box" or refrigerator pickles, though!
These are not really a traditional heat-packed "pickled" cucumber, this is more like a cucumber salad with a vinegar-based dressing. They're light, delicious, and will keep almost indefinitely in the fridge. I don't even bother to put mine in jars, I just use a big Tupperware bowl that I replenish from time to time.
You'll need these ingredients:
- 2 c sugar
- 1 c vinegar
- 1-2 t salt
- 7 c thinly sliced cucumbers
- 1 thinly sliced or chopped onion (I used the equivalent in dried onion flakes, 2 T)
- 1 t celery seeds
In a small saucepan, mix together the sugar, vinegar, and salt, and heat just until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved, stirring constantly. Some recipes tell you to include the celery seed in this mixture--big mistake--you won't be able to scrape them all out, it makes a mess, and all about avoiding a mess in the kitchen.
Meanwhile, slice the cucumbers and onions (I used my food processor, but you could use a mandolin slicer). Spinkle the celery seed on top, along with the onion flakes if you use dried like me.
When the vinegar mixture is completely cool, pour over the cucumbers, onions, and celery seed, and stir well. You'll think at this point that this is not enough liquid for the amount of cucumbers that you have, but stir to coat as well as you can, then cover and refrigerate.
I have a cousin who likes to take the same vinegar-sugar mixture and use it over a combination of cucmbers and halved grape or cherry tomatoes. I've never done this, but it sounds delicious, I can just imagine what a pretty salad it would make.
As you know if you've been reading the last couple of weeks, I'm off of sugar for a while. I made these for the first time today using Splenda instead of sugar, and they came out wonderfully! The Splenda dissolved almost immediately in the vinegar, but because the mixture was slightly cloudy, and I still needed to dissolve the salt, I heated it literally 30-60 seconds, stirring constantly. Not ony did the salt dissolve, the Splenda combined even more and the mixture became clear. Once cool, I poured it over the cucmber/dried onion/celery seed mixture and it did great. I've already tasted them, and can't wait to dig into some more later.
This recipe is linked to:
Until next time, good cooking, and good eating!