Thursday, July 9, 2009
this past weekend i checked out bryant terry's vegan soul kitchen from the library. it's a cookbook that i have been eyeing and wanting to buy so i was really excited to have the chance to give it a test run. it's full of tempting, southern inspired recipes but one that caught my eye was pickles! this is a project i have been wanting to try for awhile and i'm so glad i finally did. they're awesome! they are bursting with dilly, slightly spicy flavor but, most importantly to me, they still have a nice crunch to them.
the recipe calls for kirby cucumbers, i'm not sure if that's what i used. i saw small cukes at the corner store and they were just labeled pickles but i figured as long as we were on the same page they'd do the trick. i bought three of them and they perfectly filled one peanut butter jar. the recipe calls for eighteen so unless you want a ton of pickles or are planning to pass them out to all your friends you'll probably end up doing some math to figure out the quantities to use.
also, in case you're wondering, the sandwich in the background is the open faced bbq tempeh sandwich with carrot-cayenne coleslaw (also from vegan soul kitchen) and it was delicious! so far we're two for two!
spicy dill pickles
(from vegan soul kitchen)
1 cup coarse sea salt
1 1/2 gallons plus 3 cups water*
18 kirby cucumbers, quartered lengthwise
3 tablespoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coarsely ground white pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar (i used sugar)
2 bunches dill, minced
in a large stockpot over medium-low heat, make a brine by combining 3/4 cup of the salt with 1 1/2 gallons of water. stir well until the salt is completely dissolved. remove from heat and set aside to cool. add the cucumbers to the brine, place a small plate on top to ensure that they are completely covered in the water, and refrigerate overnight.
drain the cucumbers in a colander, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
in a small saute pan over medium heat, combine the red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and pepper and toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. transfer to a large saucepan. stir in the garlic, vinegars, agave nectar, dill, and the remaining salt and water. simmer until the salt is dissolved, about 3 minutes. set aside to cool.
divide the cucumber evenly between jars. leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top, fill the jars with the vinegar mixture. close the jars and store in the refrigerator for at least 48 hours before eating.
*i'll save you a little bit of time. there are 16 cups in a gallon. you're welcome!