Sunday, May 1, 2016

Spicy Oregano Quick Pickles

When you think of foods that are prevalent in Hawaii, you probably aren't thinking of cucumbers. But the truth is that while pineapples and mangoes are only seasonal on the Big Island, delicious mini-cukes can be found year-round! My son eats so many cucumbers sometimes John and I don't eat as many as we'd like, since we are saving the for school lunches instead. This time at the market I decided to be a bit smarter and buy them by the bagful.

And what does one do with a surplus of cucumbers? Make pickles! The idea of pickling always seemed a bit intimidating to me when I would look at cook books. Sterilizing jars and canning seemed daunting. But if you are making pickles for home use and not to store for months on end, you don't really have to worry about that other stuff. These quick pickles can last for about a month in the fridge, but you will have to take my word for it, because I eat mine in less than a week!

Of course any cucumber can work for this recipe, but the mini cucumbers are strongly recommended, They are sweeter and more tender and less likely to go mushy. Eat these pickles in raw wraps, salads, or just on their own!

5 to 6 mini cucumbers
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (unpasteurized, with mother)
1/4 cup sea salt
1 small handful fresh oregano
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
filtered or distilled water to cover

Cut cucumbers to desired shapes (slices or spears) and pack tightly into a pint jar. Remove oregano leaves from stems and add to jar. Add red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, and salt. Pour in apple cider vinegar. Cove with water so that all cucumbers are submerged. Place lid loosely on top of jar and leave on counter for 2 to 3 days. Eat or refrigerate up to a month.

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