Quick Food Preservation

Refrigerator pickling is one of the quickest ways to preserve your summer produce. This process keeps the vegetables crisp and is great for cucumber pickles.

It is a fast two-step process. The first is to find vegetables and cut them into wedges or slices for the canning jar. Cucumbers, carrots, beets, onions, cherry tomatoes and green beans work the best. Cutting and arranging the vegetables is the longest part of this type of food preservation. Look for interesting colors of beets and onions to make the jar beautiful. The second is to boil a brine (vinegar, sugar, salt and spices) to create a dill, sweet or savory sauce. Use a sterilized canning jar and lid to preserve this for up to a year in the refrigerator.

Local Organic Meals on a Budget that Home Grown New Mexico presents with the Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute and Kitchen Angels had a class this week to review all the types of food preservation.  Two of Dena Aquilina, General Manager of Beneficial Farms CSA’s recipes were for refrigerator pickles. Here are the recipes and the easy way to make them.  I made both of these recipes within an hour and am enjoying them this week.

Beet Refrigerator Pickles $3.35 for 8 people

Store in this one quart canning jar in the fridge when cooled and do not can this recipe. Add hard-boiled eggs for a colorful protein hit – a popular street food in Miami.

4 Beets
½ Red Onion
1 cup White Vinegar
1 cup Filtered Water
¾ cup Sugar
½ tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Celery Seed
1 T Mustard Seed
2 Cloves

For one quart, cook beets until just tender (fork will start to slide into beet), peel and cut into quarters or slices (don’t overcook) 
Slice 1/2 medium onion into thick slices.

Boil together:
1 c white vinegar
1 c filtered water
3/4 c sugar or 1/2 c agave
1/2 t salt
1/2 t celery seed
1 T mustard seed
and cloves.

Pack beet and onion pieces in clean quart jar – make it pretty! Pour hot brine over, seal with new lid; cool and refrigerate. These are ready to eat when chilled and will keep in your fridge as long as you can resist eating them!

Dena’s Dills (Refrigerator Pickles) $4.56 for 8 servings
¾ cup Cider Vinegar
1-1/4 cup Filtered Water
1 T Kosher Salt
¾ T Sugar

Heat the brine together and let cool.

½ T Mustard Seed
2 Cloves of Garlic, smashed
½ tsp Pickling Spice
1 T Dill Seed
2 lbs of Cucumbers, Carrots or Green Beans

Sterilize a Quart Canning Jar and lid. Add the spices and then sliced cucumbers, carrots or green beans.  Pour the brine over the vegetables. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 year. Do not can this recipe as it does not have the appropriate acid level.

Want to learn more about food preservation?  Come to our next class: Sunday, September 9th at 11am
Milagro Community Garden on Rodeo and Legacy
Learn about pressure canning for low acid foods and help Jannine Cabossel and Duskin Jasper make salsa from the garden. Bring a donation and take home a jar of salsa.

2 responses to “Quick Food Preservation

  1. Pingback: Overnight Pickles | The Salem Garden

  2. Pingback: Overnight Pickles | The Salem Garden

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