Tuesday, December 12

How to Transform Cucumbers Into Pickles

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 Pickles always make a great addition to a party appetizer platter and the small pickles work well with cocktails. I am not always impressed with the pre made jars of pickles lining supermarket shelves and enjoy making my own. Of course the addition of a local white wine like Trebbiano D’Abruzzo makes a unique touch, but you can also add a wine that is a favorite as long as it is a dry white wine.

At my country house in the mountains of Italy we store them in our’cantina’ and can enjoy them all year long.

Country House Cocktail Pickles

 copyright 2011 art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria lIberati;from the Award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

2 lbs of small pickling cucumbers

1 cup of sea salt


red hot pepper

5 cipollini onions

1 glass of dry white wine

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

8 cups of white wine vinegar

1 handful basil

handful of bay leaves

Wash pickling cucumbers. Place in a large pot and cover with sea salt. Let marinat this way for 36 hours, stirring every so often, Then layout paper towels or clean dish towels and place cucumbers on towels in a single layer, removing excess salt, let cucumbers dry. Divide the cucumbers betwee ntwo large presrving jars that have been cleaned and dried. Alternate layers of cucumbers with a bay leaf, garlic cloves, pieces of red hot pepperoncini, basil leaves and cipollini onions.

Place white wine and white wine vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Pour over cucumbers in jars.

Let cool and then let sit this way for approx 10 days. Remove vinegar. Cover cucumbers now with extra virgin olive oil till covered. Be sure to close in a hermetically sealed jar. Store for not longer than 1 yr. If you can not find small cucumbers, you can slice large pickling cucumbers,


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