The vegetables here are salted directly rather than brined. But even 15 minutes really changes their texture and flavor, making them both pliable and crunchy. Of course, the thinner you slice the vegetables, the quicker the salt and seasonings can penetrate. Which is why shredding is also a good option to shave off even a few more minutes of salting and pickling time.
Other vegetables you can use: radish, jícama, kohlrabi, celery, fennel, cabbage, asparagus, green beans, or onion.
- Yield: 4 to 8 Servings
- Total Time: 1 Hour
- 1 pound cucumber, zucchini, summer squash, or eggplant
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- Wash the vegetable well, peel if you like, and slice as thin as possible (a mandoline is perfect for this) or grate them. Put the vegetable in a colander and sprinkle with the salt; toss well. Gently rub the salt into the vegetable with your hands for a minute.
- Let the colander sit in the sink or in a bowl until the vegetable softens, 15 to 30 minutes depending on the vegetable; toss and squeeze every few minutes. When little or no more liquid comes out of the vegetable, rinse well in cold water. Put in a bowl.
- Toss with the sugar, dill, and vinegar and serve right away; this pickle does not keep well.
- QUICKEST PICKLED VEGETABLES, MEXICAN STYLE This makes a spicy garnish for tacos, rice, beans, and more: Use an assortment of thinly sliced radishes, jícama, cucumber, and red onion. Substitute cilantro for the dill; add a thinly sliced jalapeño if you like (or habanero if you like it mouth-searing); use red wine vinegar.
- QUICKEST-PICKLED MANGO OR PAPAYA A perfect use for underripe mangoes or papaya, and it easily moves between Indian, Southeast Asian, Latin, and Caribbean cuisines: Substitute thinly sliced or julienned still-firm mango or papaya for the vegetable and cilantro, mint, or ginger for the dill.