Pickling 101 – Vinegared Cucumber Salad Recipe

slice cucumber vinegar salad brine

It’s about this time of year that the air starts to change. Evenings cool off and breezes pick up. Put another way: it is a time to put some food by, as the old phrase goes, the season for trying to make freshly harvested vegetables last as long as they possibly can. We’ve already explored the sweet end of the food-preserving spectrum, so we thought it only fair to look at the savory side as well. Thus we arrive, happily, at the wonderful world of pickling.

slice cucumberPickling, if you’ve never done it before, can seem a bit intimidating. We thought we’d provide a gentle introduction, a recipe for something not fully a pickle, but somewhere along its way there. These cucumbers are refreshingly tart and vinegary, but without the hot packing, worry about shelf stability, or waiting for the darn things to get, well…  pickled. This dish is half salad, half condiment, which you will find goes with everything from barbecued chicken to a quick snack of hummus and pita. It’ll keep in the fridge for several weeks, so feel free to double or triple the recipe and nibble on it whenever the mood strikes.

Vinegared Cucumber Salad

  • 4 small cucumbers
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup distilled water

1. Cut off and discard the tips of the cucumbers. Slice the cucumbers very thinly on a mandolin, or as thinly as you can with a knife.

2. Combine salt, sugar, vinegar and water in a large non-reactive container, such as a glass jar. Add the cucumbers, cover, and leave to marinate in the refrigerator. You can serve the salad in as little as a few hours, or keep it in the fridge for up to several weeks. (Try to only use clean utensils when you dip into the jar – this will substantially increase the salad’s shelf life.)

vinegar cucumber salad jar

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5 thoughts on “Pickling 101 – Vinegared Cucumber Salad Recipe”

  1. Hi Jeff. Thanks for the encouragement. Pickling is a good adventure – have lots of fun on the farm!

  2. Jeff says:

    And try lacto-fermented pickles too for added health benefits and for using live cultures in the air to ferment your vegetables (see: http://greenprophet.com/2008/06/11/601/wild-fermentation-sandor-kat/).

    Hamutal, I was going to post in the coming days that I’ll be working on an organic farm in Connecticut making pickles for the next three months, so I was so excited to see your post. I tend to shy away from vinegar pickling whenever I can just because I really prefer the taste of live-culture pickles, though vinegar does make things shelf-stable, which is certainly important in food preservation. Good luck with your pickling endeavors.

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