I remember sneaking dill pickles out of the fridge when I was a kid, the way some kids would sneak cookies. So it was only a matter of time before I got it together and tried my hand at some refrigerator pickles. These are the quickie pickles, the instant gratification pickles, not the kind that need to be fermented for a month or longer. And they're delicious. For my first foray, I chose two vegetables and two recipes: radishes and cucumbers.
The radishes were up first. A good radish is a thing of beauty as it is, and I have to admit that a few fell victim on the way off the cutting board. I love the peppery crispness of them, and apparently Maggie loves them also, as she waited patiently for bits and pieces to fall and then chewed them up with gusto.
The recipe is easy as all get out. It's just cut radishes and a simple brine. I was done in a half hour and then there was just an agonizing wait (a day or so) before I felt they were ready for use. I couldn't resist trying a few straight from the jar. They're wonderful---still a bit crisp but permeated by the acidity of the vinegar and the salt and spices. I'm sure they're great on the Pickled Radish and Sweet Butter Tea Sandwiches recipe, but we ate them as a garnish on a veggie burger and and they were perfect there too.
The classic cuke pickles were also easy and turned out wonderfully. I added fresh dill to the brine, lots of it, and smashed cloves of garlic and yellow mustard seed. Again, these are great just on their own as a snack, or perfect on a burger, sandwich, or even in a Dirty Pickle Martini!