From Wikipedia: “Pickling is the process of preserving or expanding the lifespan of food by either anaerobic fermentation in brine or immersion in vinegar. The resulting food is called a pickle, or, to prevent ambiguity, prefaced with pickled. The pickling procedure will typically affect the food’s texture and flavor. In East Asia, vinaigrette (vegetable oil and vinegar) is also
used as a pickling medium. Foods that are pickled include meats, fruits, eggs, and vegetables.”
Quick pickles, or “refrigerator pickles” are typically fruit or vegetables that have been soaked/marinated in a vinegar brine for a period of time, and are not finished with a canning or heat based preservation method, but rather kept for a maximum of 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Most often, I make “quick pickles” by slicing red onion and soaking it in red wine or cider vinegar for 30-60 minutes for salads & burgers. It takes the “bite” or harshness out of the onion and just add’s an awesome touch to whatever you use them in.
Grandma Ma’s French Fresh Pickles from Nancy Fuller at Food Network is a great quick pickle that you can get on the table for dinner TONIGHT!
2 small Kirby cucumbers, cut into spears
1 large garden cucumber, cut into 1/2 inch thick disks
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ head cauliflower, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 cup pearl onions
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup sugar
½ cup kosher salt
2 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 Tbsp celery seeds
Mix the Kirby cucumbers, garden cucumber, bell pepper, cauliflower and pearl onions in a large glass jar with a lid.
Put the vinegar, 1 cup water, the sugar, salt, mustard seeds and celery seeds in large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then use a funnel to pour the pickling over the vegetables to cover completely. Let cool to room temperature, then cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
The pickles will keep, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.