We dye lots of things. We dye our hair to cover up the signs of aging. We dye our shoes to match a hideous bridesmaid dress. We suntan to dye our skin like George Hamilton.
But when it comes to my food, I want nothing to do with dye. I will never order a Yellow #5 milkshake instead of banana, or a slice of Blue #2 pie instead of blueberry. Uhhhh, GROSS. Yeah, Vlasic, I’m talking to you!
I try to avoid these numbered, artificial culprits whenever possible. Recently, I stood in the pickle aisle of the supermarket for 30 minutes in absolute disbelief. One by one, I picked up 50 different jars and every one had Yellow #5 and Red #40 in it. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
I was truly peeved. Pickles are my fuel. My oil can, if you will.
I was desperate, and was left with no choice. If I wanted to have delicious, crispy pickles sans the crayon ingredients, I had to make them myself.
However, making pickles the traditional way generally take months. Months I did not have. I wanted pickles, like, yesterday. Then I found a recipe in The Joy of Pickling called “Really Quick Dill Pickles”. My eyes lit up until I got to the last line of the recipe, “Store the pickles for at least 1 month before eating.” Then my head exploded.
Once I put my head pieces back together, I realized the secret shortcut was vinegar. Using vinegar instead of a salt brine would give me pickles in a matter of hours. I’d already used vinegar to pickle these pretty pink turnips and for this super spicy double chile cucumber kimchee.
The kirby cucumbers and vinegar were ready, but I wanted to add even more flavor to make these pickles absolutely irresistible. So I added lemon zest, whole cloves of garlic, and fresh sprigs of rosemary.
In just 6 hours, they were pungent, sour, a little sweet and hella good. GREAT pickles. No waiting. No chemicals.
Lemon, Rosemary and Garlic Pickles Recipe
Makes about 3 quarts of pickles
3 lb kirby or persian cucumbers
4-6 rosemary sprigs
8 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tbsp kosher salt
1 c sugar
1 1/2 c distilled white, white wine or rice wine vinegar
3/4 c filtered water
Notes for your perusal
I kindly recommend using filtered water for any pickle. We can all agree that tap water is less than perfect, so when water is an ingredient, it’s best to use the cleanest water you can get.
Any kind of glass receptacle with a tight lid will work to store your pickles. Mason jars are awesome. I use…old pickle and olive jars. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, bitches!
And of course, you can always find more images of this recipe on the Facebook page. Feel free to give us a “like” while you’re there.
For the pickling brine
Combine salt, sugar, vinegar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Once sugar and salt is dissolved, remove from heat and set aside.
For the cucumbers
Trim the ends of the cucumbers, then cut them into quarters to create spears. Slice the garlic cloves down the middle, lengthwise. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest off of the lemons.
For the pickles
Split the cucumbers, rosemary, garlic and lemon zest evenly across the jars. Pour the brine into the jars until they come about 1/2″ from the top. Seal and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours (or overnight).