Welcome the Brinery, in all its Finery
Our friends at Whole Foods Bowery have converted their cheese cave into a pickle palace of the highest order. We’ll be on hand for the launch party tonight and sampling our wares, and tasting those of our friends, including McClure’s, Sourpuss and Brooklyn Brine. We’ve made a special pickle just for the occasion… Sweet and Sassy Mixed Pickles. Please come on down to the Brinery at Bowery… we’ll be sampling up a storm under a big poster that looks a little bit like this:
And here’s the recipe for Sweet and Sassy Mixed Pickles.
For the pickles:
3lbs kirby cucumbers
2 medium onions
2 large bell peppers (one red, one yellow if possible)
1 lb. carrots
2 oz Kosher salt
1 lb ice cubes
For the brine:
32 oz cider vinegar (5% acidity)
16 oz water
4 oz brown sugar (less if you prefer)
½ bunch lemon thyme
2 tablespoons pink peppercorns, cracked
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
2 teaspoons whole allspice berries, cracked
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and cracked
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground cloves
4 bay leaves
- Rinse cucumbers in cold water. Trim tips and slice the cucumbers into ¼-inch rounds.
- Peel skins off of onions and slice onions into ¼ rounds, then slice the rounds into half-moons.
- Combine the cucumbers and onions with the ice and salt and mix thoroughly. Place in a refrigerator for at least one hour.
- Peel the carrots and chop into ½ inch chunks.
- Rinse the peppers and slice them in half to remove the seeds. Cut into 1-inch squares.
- In a large stockpot, mix together the cider vinegar, water, sugar, lemon thyme, mustard seed, fennel, cloves and bay leaves. Bring brine to a boil and then simmer over medium heat.
- Crack the pink peppercorns and the allspice berries using a mortar and pestle and add to the brine pot.
- Toast the coriander seeds over medium heat, shaking frequently, until a little wisp of smoke appears, usually about two to three minutes. Set aside.
- Remove the bowl with the cucumbers and onions from the refrigerator and rinse the contents under cold water to remove the salt. Place them in another bowl and mix well with the peppers, carrots and coriander seeds.
- Pack the vegetable mixture evenly into 2 half-gallon or 4 quart jars.
- Return the brine to a boil and pour the brine over the vegetables, making sure to completely cover them (you may have some extra brine). Screw the lid on to the jars firmly.
- Allow the jars to come to room temperature and then place them in a refrigerator. The pickles will be ready to eat in 24 hours and will last for one month under refrigeration.
Notes on the vegetables: there are numerous varieties of heirloom cucumbers and kirbies that will be appropriate for this pickle. Smaller cucumbers (1 ½ inch diameter maximum) are preferred as they will be less seedy and typically have more firm flesh. What makes this pickle visually appealing is the play of different bright colors, which is why the red and yellow peppers are preferred to contrast the green kirby cucumbers. If you were using yellow lemon cucumbers, you might want to substitute green bell peppers.
This recipe was adapted from one in Quick Pickles, by Chris Schlesinger, John Willoughby and Dan George. A great book!
For more information about Rick’s Picks and to order pickles please visit rickspicksnyc.com and also check out the cookbook co-authored by founder Rick Field, The Art of Preserving, available at our website and also amazon.com. Another great book!