Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas 
Active Time
10 Mins
Total Time
24 Hours
Yield
Serves 6 (serving size: about 6 pickled green beans, about 2 tbsp. carrot pickle chips, or about 1/4 cup radish pickles)

Brining vegetables in the refrigerator means you can enjoy crisp-tender pickles without the special equipment, processes, or lengthy curing times of canning. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Place vegetable, garlic, and herb in a 1-pint mason jar or nonreactive dish.

Step 2

Why? Vegetable density affects brining time, so pickle like with like. Specialty canning jars aren't required, but the acidic brine will react chemically with some metals and impart a bitter taste: Use glass, stainless steel, glazed ceramic, or food-safe plastic containers.

Step 3

Place vinegar and remaining ingredients in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat; simmer, stirring, until dissolved. Let stand 5 minutes. Why? Heating dissolves salt and sugar quickly and steeps the spices. Acidic vinegar preserves vegetables and inhibits bacteria. Use kosher salt, which is free of bitter caking agents and minerals that can cloud the pickling brine.

Step 4

Warm mason jars, if using, in a pan of hot water. Pour hot vinegar mixture into jars, fully submerging vegetables; cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 3 days or until pickles taste tangy and texture is crisp-tender. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Step 5

Why? Warming tempers glass to decrease risk of shattering when hot brine is added. Heated pickling liquid kicks off the softening process. Immediately refrigerating prevents spoilage. Vegetables' size and sturdiness will determine pickling length.

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