This bread and butter pickles recipe calls for Kirby cucumbers, Vidalia onions, and spices including fennel seeds, turmeric, mustard seeds for quick pickles.
In our experience, people pretty much prefer the sort of pickles they grew up with during childhood.
These bread and butter pickles are not the pickles for those people.
These are pickles for the open-minded. Tons more taste than store-bought pickles. Not a lot of effort. And you can make these as quick pickles, meaning you can simply put them in the fridge and consume them within 10 or so days, or you can process them the old-fashioned way in jars and put them up for next winter. That’s to say nothing of the intriguing taste taken from the pickling liquid being infused with Vidalias, turmeric, mustard seeds, and allspice, among a few other surprises, including fennel seeds. (Which makes us wonder, wouldn’t some slivers of fresh fennel be lovely pickled like this?!) While we’re on the topic of pickles, we’ve no idea where the saying “in a pickle” comes from, though we have to say, we’d love to find ourselves in a jar of these slightly sweet specimens. Originally published August 7, 2012.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Special Equipment: pint-size canning jars
Bread and Butter Pickles
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 3 H, 25 M
- Makes 3 to 4 pints
- 10 small pickling cucumbers (4 to 5 inches or 10 to 12 cm in length and 1 1/2 inches or 4 cm in diameter)
- 1 medium sweet onion, preferably Vidalia
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup fresh celery leaves (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 8 allspice berries
- 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sorghum or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1. Rinse the cucumbers under cold water and then slice them into rounds about 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Peel the onion and slice into 1/3-inch-wide strips.
- 2. Mix the onion and cucumbers in a medium bowl and add half the kosher salt. Toss well and let the cucumbers rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
- 3. Dump the onion and cucumbers into a colander and rinse well under cold running water to remove the salt. Tear the celery leaves over the mixture and toss everything to combine. Pack the cucumbers, onion, and celery leaves into clean pint jars.
- 4. in a nonreactive pot, toss the remaining salt, red pepper flakes, fenugreek, fennel seeds, turmeric, mustard seeds, allspice, vinegar, sugar, sorghum, and cold water. Bring to a rolling boil and then pour it over the cucumber mixture, divvying the spiced liquid evenly among the jars. Screw on the lids, leave the jars out on the counter for 2 hours, and then place them in the fridge.
- 5. At this point, the pickles are pretty much done, but they’ll be at their best a day or two later. The shelf life for these quick pickles—if you made them as directed here, without the hot canning process—is about 10 days. If you’d like the jars to keep for the long haul, follow your jar manufacturer’s directions for canning.