I was happy to get a few small pickling cukes in last week's share from Red Fire Farm CSA. I know it's odd to use a pickling method for something not destined for long-term storage (the reason why people began pickling foods in the first place). But I like this easy method of making a small amount of pickles, which remain crunchy and fresh-tasting. They'll last 2-3 weeks in the fridge, but are at their best within a week. Feel free to leave out the sugar or the chili peppers.
Quick Spicy Dill Pickles
• 4 pickling cucumbers, washed and quartered
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 1teaspoon to 1 tablespoon sugar
• 3/4 cups distilled white or apple cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoons coriander seeds
• 4 large garlic cloves, halved
• 4 dried red hot chiles, halved lengthwise (some seeds removed, depending on how spicy you like things)
• 8 dill sprigs
Pack cucumbers into a clean 1-quart glass jar or bowl. In a saucepan, combine the salt, sugar, vinegar, coriander and garlic. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add 1 cup of water and let cool. When cool, pour the brine over the cucumbers. Tuck the chiles and dill between the vegetables. Add enough water to keep the cucumbers submerged. Close the jars and refrigerate overnight or for up to 1 month. If you're doing this in a bowl, place a plate or something on top to weigh the cukes down. They should be ready in two days, and are crispiest the first week.