When we were considering what to fill our raised bed garden with this spring, one of the things that made the list and was on the “must have” list were chub cucumbers or pickling cucumbers. Chubs are smaller cucumbers. They’re like the short, stumpy cousin to the long, lanky cucumber most of us are familiar with. If you pick them early, they look like a pickle, but if you leave them, they fill out and get this pudgy shape. They’re also a little bit firmer than your regular, everyday cucumber, which makes them perfect for a ten-minute pickling.
The reason we knew we had to have chubs was because of the refrigerator pickle delicacy that graces our plates all summer long. On the side, on sandwiches, burgers, pulled pork, in a salad, everywhere. They are what summer tastes like for our family. We decided that it was time to invest in our own cucumber plants rather than searching for them every week at the farmer’s market, we love them that much. So, I sought out pickling cucumber seedlings at the farmer’s market instead, and once I’d identified the proper plant, we were in the cucumber-growing business.
The pepper grinder is missing from this picture because…it broke. We go through more pepper grinders than I ever thought possible. I think it’s time to invest in a nice one, one that will set me back $100 but that I won’t have to replace every four months. For two weeks now we’ve been using a mortar and pestle to grind peppercorns down to the desired size. It’s a labor of love.
Add the above ingredients to a bowl full of cucumber slices, onions and fresh dill. Ole claims that the ice is key here and that it properly melds the flavors into one. I say it’s because we like them to be cold within five minutes to get it to the table faster. If you can resist eating them all in one night, they are a little bit more tart the next day and delicious.
This particular batch topped off these sliders or were eaten next to them on the side. The next day, Ole tossed them into a spring mix salad and I used them in place of coleslaw on a pulled pork sandwich. They’re a versatile treat, and they add a bite of freshness to several of our everyday summer dishes.
|Refrigerator Pickles: The Taste of Summer|
2 chubby pickling cucumbers
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 fresh dill, loosely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons capers, optional
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
2 cups ice cubes
Slice cucumbers as thin as possible and place in a large bowl. Add thinly sliced onions and chopped dill. Mix in sugar, salt, pepper, capers (if desired) and ice cubes. Add vinegar and water, stir until sugar and salt dissolves. Refrigerate until ready to use. Store in air-tight container in fridge.
Makes 2 cups of sliced cucumbers.
For more cucumber recipes, visit Tammy’s Recipe’s In-Season Recipe Swap.