Pickles that are easy to make and taste fantastic. Pickles that are just sweet enough and just spicy enough–without waiting days for them to ferment or canning them properly. What a dream! So, go buy a jar you might suggest–but that just wasn’t the flavor I was longing.
My pickle obsession started in San Francisco when Roxanne and I attended the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference. Right across the street from our hotel was the Ferry Building–and the Cowgirl Creamery’s Artisan Cheese Shop and Sidekick. The pickles they serve with their fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches were off the chart! Who knew pickles could be so captivating?
I discovered a great recipe on-line from Bon Appétit magazine, so now I am enjoying perfect pickles. No, they are not exactly like those that inspired my sweet-tart craving, but these are equally fantastic and habit forming. I shared the recipe for Slightly Sweet Dill Refrigerator Pickles in the Kansas City Chow Town blog–and they truly taste better and are easier to make than you can imagine. It is more a marinated cucumber salad–for the fresh sliced cucumbers marinate overnight–and there is no canning or processing. Just store in the refrigerator and enjoy them within the week.
One little trick I am doing now is to add about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes to the vinegar and spice blend. I like the extra kick it adds. See if you agree.
Now is the time to make pickles. Farmers’ markets are over flowing with tender, fresh cucumbers. They are just the right flavor zest on your favorite burgers and summer sandwiches.