Refrigerator pickles are a staple in my fridge all summer. The crisp, tart cucumbers and onions are delicious right out of the jar. For a real treat, combine them with thick slices of homegrown tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper.
Cucumbers need full sun, at least an inch of water per week, rich soil and pollinating insects to produce. Pick fruits regularly so that the vines will continue to produce. Bush varieties are suitable for containers, but if you have the space try vining types because they will produce more fruit. Just be sure to support vining cucumbers with a trellis.
Onions are available as sets, small bulbs or transplants, which look like scallions and come in a bundle of 60 or so. Plant in early spring as soon as the soil is workable. Your plants will need abundant sun and good drainage, and they grow best when the soil pH ranges between 6.0 and 6.8. Place time release or organic fertilizer in the planting hole so that it is close to the roots. Follow the fertilizer's label directions. Onions roots are shallow and not very efficient at taking up moisture, so they need a steady supply of water to grow without interruption. Onions are ready to harvest in about 100 days. You will know they are ready when the tops yellow and fall over.
Plant dill in spring after all danger of frost has passed. It likes rich, well-drained soil. Work compost into the soil before planting. In hot weather dill can get a little thin, but keeping it cut and watered really helps. Harvest dill leaves any time, but the flavor is most intense just as the flowers begin to open. To collect dill seed, let the plant bloom and go to seed, but be aware that this triggers the plant to yellow and decline.
- 2 large cucumber, sliced
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp. dill, chopped
- 1 tsp. peppercorns
- 1 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 2 cups water
Combine water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Place the cucumber, onion, dill and peppercorns in the Mason jar.
Pour in the vinegar mixture.
Screw the lid onto the Mason jar and place in the fridge. Chill for at least 24 hours before serving.
These will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 months.
Time to prepare: 15 minutes.
This recipe is vegetarian.