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Pickling vegetables in 5% brine


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In Charcuterie, Ruhlman and Polcyn have a pickling veggies recipe where they say you can pickle in 5% brine. They say that after 1 week, the lactic acid producing bacteria produce a pleasing sourness. No vinegar needed.

Since Summer is coming to an end, there are lots of veggies that are available at a local farmer's market and I would like to pickle some of them this way.

I want to be clear that I am talking about a refrigerator pickle, not canned pickle. So I don't mind storing the brined veggies in the refrigerator.

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n Charcuterie, Ruhlman and Polcyn have a pickling veggies recipe where they say you can pickle in 5% brine.

Don't know about them, but Mark Bittman has a recipe in his "How to Cook Everything" that I've used a number of times. It makes great fridge dill pickles.

Don't see why it wouldn't work for other veggies.

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Don't know about them, but Mark Bittman has a recipe in his "How to Cook Everything" that I've used a number of times. It makes great fridge dill pickles.

Don't see why it wouldn't work for other veggies.

does this use any vinegar? And what's the general recipe like? The Charcuterie recipe is just 5% brine and you leave the veggies there for a week in a cool environment. Then you remove the veggies to a clean container, boil the brine and add it back in, refrigerate and it keeps for a long time.

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Here's a similar recent discussion:

"Zabar's Pickles, the fresh ones"

I also questioned the absence of an acid (vinegar) in the recipe posted in this discussion. It's the fermentation that is supposed to give them the "sour" taste, as it's been stated above. I didn't think 4 tablespoons of salt was enough to make a brine solution but perhaps that's not the purpose of the salt in this recipe. Maybe too much salt (a brine) = no fermentation?

 

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1 Cup of salt to 1 Gallon of water, 1/2 a cup of Pickling Spice, and as much garlic as you want. It works. We did it all last summer, we got about 2 gallons of them going right now.

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Jason Perlow

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Oh, and not refrigerated during fermentation. You're supposed to keep it in a cool dark place, but I just put the crock in the cabinet over the fridge. When it's warmer, it just ferments faster, so you have to be careful not to let them over sour, when you want half-sours. When they are done (or nearly done, better to opt short on the sourness), I take out the cukes to clean containers then just pour in the strained brine. But I don't boil it or anything. We eat and give away a lot of them. They don't last forever like canned/jarred pickles, but they do last a few months. They just get softer and more sour the longer they sit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since I have more cucumbers than I can eat this year, I tried this pickle recipe I saw in the Portland Oregonian Foodday section. However, after reading some of the pickle threads here, I'm confused.

The recipe in the paper calls for a combination of brine and vinegar (1 TB salt and 2 TB vinegar per quart of pickles). Yet it says to leave the jar out in the open for bubbles to form, implying fermentation. I did that, yet no bubbles have formed. It's been about four days now, with no perceivable activity. So, my questions to the authorities here:

1. Is this article mistaken when they say bubbles will form?

2. Could I have done something wrong?

3. And most importantly, because I haven't refrigerated my pickles, will I kill myself if I eat one?

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The book Nourishing Traditions dedicates a chapter to lacto-fermentation, which was the original method of pickling across many cultures. Their method uses a "starter" of whey created by straining whole-milk yogurt (leaving behind some really good "cheese"). I have made several batches of kimchi and dill pickles this way, using very little salt, distilled water and a few tablespoons of active whey.

Sealed the jars and left them at room temperature for a few days until the contents inside were bubbling a bit, released the pressure by cracking the lids momentarily, and refrigerated them.

I just opened a jar of these "live" pickles I put in the fridge two years ago, and they're good. Pleasantly sour and you don't miss the salt or the vinegar.

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3. And most importantly, because I haven't refrigerated my pickles, will I kill myself if I eat one?

I snack out of my counter jar when they are fermenting and I'll still alive.

I don't actually get many bubbles when I make the pickles referenced in the linked thread. I do get a whitish scum-I guess it is sort of bubbly-that I skim off.

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