These sandwich pickles are made with cucumbers, salt, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and pink peppercorns—and no vinegar. They’re crisp, herby, and tangy-sour, and make a perfect addition to more than just the occasional ‘wich.
You know you can do better. If ever a pickle were destined to grace your burger, this is probably it. Don’t let your burgers have all the fun—slide these tart and herby sandwich pickles into even your silly little ham and cheese. It deserves this pickle.–Samuel Monsour and Richard Chudy
☞ Table of Contents
CAN YOU MAKE PICKLES WITHOUT VINEGAR?
These pickles are made without vinegar, if you can believe that. That’s because they’re made with saltwater, which gives them the classic crunch and sour, salty flavor of old-fashioned deli pickles. It also helps to preserve them in much the same way as vinegar does.
- 1 large English or other seedless cucumber
- 3 sprigs fresh oregano
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon whole pink peppercorns
- Trim the ends from the cucumber and cut it crosswise into 3 sections. Stand each section upright and slice it lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick (3-mm) slabs.
- Pack the slabs or slices of cucumber and the oregano, thyme, and rosemary in a 1-quart (946 ml) nonreactive container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Pour the water, salt, sugar, and pink peppercorns into a different jar that also has an airtight lid. Shake the mixture until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved, about 1 minute. Pour the pickling liquid into the container with the cucumber and herbs and jiggle it around a little to release any air bubbles. Seal the jar and refrigerate immediately for at least 3 days—and preferably 4 days—before trying them to allow the flavors time to permeate the pickles. These will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (although we've not been able to make them last that long).
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These yummy, mildly herby sandwich pickles are a version of the half-sour pickles that you might find in that rarity, a true Jewish deli.
I used a mandoline to slice my cucumbers, so they came out a tiny bit thinner than indicated, but it was so easy. I used a 1-quart Mason jar, and I was able to pack about 1 1/2 English cucumbers in it. I added Maldon sea salt and unrefined cane sugar to my solution. After filling the jar with the liquid, stick a butter knife or chopstick down the side of the jar to release air bubbles. Gently tap the jar against the counter to settle the ingredients. Now, you'll probably have to add more water solution to make sure the cukes are submerged.
That's all it takes—well, that and a bit of waiting—to make yummy sandwich pickles.
These refrigerator sandwich pickles are wonderful! They're so unique and aromatic.
They take as long to make as it takes to get the ingredients together. They're the freshest pickles that I've ever tasted. I didn't realize until it was pointed out to me (even though I made them) that these pickles contain no vinegar. I also found that 5 or 6 days in, they were absolutely stunning. These pickles have such an amazing presence that they alone would be capable of elevating an ordinary deli sandwich to a top-shelf menu item.
I had trouble finding pink peppercorns, so I simply weeded them out of a peppercorn medley. Was it worth it? Of course, it was!
Originally published July 18, 2018