Quick and Easy Garden Pickles

This warm weather has me dreaming of the garden and all the easy summer meals we’ll have out there!  My grandmother’s recipe for quick garden pickles is still one of my family’s favourite side dishes. They’re so easy, they come together in just five minutes – perfect for those busy days and hot nights when you really don’t feel like cooking at all. We all have nights like that, don’t we?  Growing up, my grandparents had a large garden where we would play as children.  There they grew many different varieties of cucumbers – Armenian, gherkins, lemon cucumbers – which my grandmother would combine when making these pickles.  If you have several varieties in the garden, it’s fun to mix and match the colours and shapes, but if not, an English cucumber works perfectly well.  

 

lemon-cucumbers-quick-pickles-COLLAGE

Quick Garden Pickles

1/2 cup white vinegar
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp celery seeds
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 large English (hothouse) cucumber
a handful of fresh dill, chopped (or 1-2 tsp dry dill)

In a small sauce pan, bring the white vinegar,  sugar,  mustard seeds, celery seeds, sea salt, black pepper, garlic, minced onion and bay leaf to a simmer.  Stir to dissolve the sugar, then simmer for about 30 seconds longer to soften the garlic. Set aside. Meanwhile, thinly slice the cucumber. Toss the cucumber with the hot vinegar. Pour into a serving bowl and set aside until cool. Just before serving, sprinkle with a handful of chopped fresh dill (or dry dill).  Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until cold.

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