I love the scent of vanilla sugar. This morning I topped off my canister of vanilla scented sugar with a new bag of sugar from the market-just smells so good! I am a baker at heart, but today it’s all about chilled spicy pickled cucumbers. This easy recipe is perfect for a Summer picnic. It’s also an installment in my quest to cook my way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan and this week’s assigned recipe for French Fridays with Dorie. I couldn’t decide which herbs to use in the pickled cucumbers, so I used quite a few of my favorites, chives, mint, parsley and thai basil. The original recipe called for the cucumbers to be peeled, quartered and cut into chunks before pickling. I deviated and cut my cucumbers into rounds, mainly because I was thinking they would be good layered on a grilled burger over the 4th of July. I brought a large bowl of my pickled cucumbers to a barbecue at my daughter’s house after we attended our old fashioned small town 4th of July main street parade. I also brought 2 of my cherry berry pies, recipe from last week’s post. This is a good make ahead recipe as all the ingredients can be put in a jar and refrigerated over night before serving. These slightly crunchy pickled cucumbers do have a little bite from the vinegar, ginger and red pepper flakes which I found to work well with the addition of minced fresh herbs. I enjoyed them and so did everybody who tried them while I was hanging around, hopefully they were telling the truth because I do plan on making them again for another potluck barbecue this Summer.
I am very partial to herb blossoms of any type especially the purple flowers that are just begging to have their picture taken on top of my pickled cucumbers. I chopped up all these herbs including a few sprigs of tiny arugula leaves, shown on top, and sprinkled them over the cucumbers right before serving. Dorie writes that 2 hours of chilling the pickles is adequate, 4-6 hours is best and that they may be kept as long as overnight in the fridge but not too long as they will lose their crunch.
Slightly adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
- 2 english cucumbers, peeled
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar, all natural
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 pinches red pepper flakes
- Minced fresh herbs, thai basil, parsley, chives and mint
- Slice the peeled cucumber into rounds.
- Place the cucumber slices in a bowl and sprinkle with the sea salt, stir occasionally for about 30 minutes, then drain off liquid.
- Stir in the vinegar, ginger and red pepper flakes, place in a jar.
- Chill the pickles for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.
- Sprinkle with the chopped herbs before serving.