Cilantro Freezer Pickles

This is a recipe that Cindy has used for several years and is always finished at picnics. A lot of people ask for the recipe, as the flavor is outstanding! By freezing instead of boiling the brine a lot of unique flavors come out, as well as the fresh cilantro. It is very easy to do in small or large batches. We have used cucumbers and German Beer radishes, but just about any hard skinned vegetable can be used.

Makes about 4 pints.

2 lbs. thinly sliced pickling cucumbers

2 cups thinly sliced sweet onions

3 tbs pickling salt- Kosher salt works great

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin- fresh ground cumin is best!

1/4 cup chopped cilantro- use a little more if you really like cilantro, homegrown is best

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar- a high quality vinegar gives the best flavor

Wash and thinly slice cucumbers but do not peel, then thinly slice onions.  There should be about 7 cups.

In a large bowl toss the cucumber and onions with salt and let stand for 2 to 3 hours, then drain liquid out of bowl, but do not rinse.

In another bowl mix remaining ingredients and pour over vegetables, stirring well to mix. Refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours.

Pack the vegetables and brine in rigid containers and freeze. We use pint jars. Make sure to leave about 1 inch headspace to allow for expansion so the jars don’t break. When packing vegetables, leave enough room for brine to cover the veggies completely. This will ensure best flavor and prevent freezer burn.

Freeze for a minimum of 2 weeks to mix and mingle the flavors. Thaw for about 8 hours in refrigerator and enjoy! Be prepared to make an immediate, larger batch!

6 replies
  1. john
    john says:

    …never heard of freezing veg to create a pickle so I am keen to try that, but….

    1 1/2 cups of sugar!? >< Reads like way too much.

    • Stephen
      Stephen says:

      John, the sugar acts as part of the preservation agent, as this isn’t truly a “pickled” recipe. You can use less sugar if you wish, with a resulting tangier or sour taste.

      • john
        john says:

        Thanks for the response. Yes, that this isn’t an ‘aged’ pickle is a good point.

        I’m experimenting with the basic recipe you have (as I have a glut of ‘mouse melons’.): freezing one jar; keeping another in the fridge to pickle, in the traditional sense; and varying the ratio of sweet/sour.

        I will say that the jar I used as per your recipe (albeit with less sugar/more vin.) was superb tossed amongst pretty much any salad I added it to.)

        Having said all that, I neglected to say that I like the broad range of recipes on your blog. Very rude of me! Good luck in the garden.


      • Stephen
        Stephen says:

        You are most welcome John. Good to hear of your experimenting and results, and thanks for the kind words! Look for many more recipes as we get the time.

  2. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Hi John,
    Can you share how you altered the recipe to decrease the sugar? I also have cucamelons and would like to do this freezer treatment but hopefully with less sugar.

    • Stephen
      Stephen says:

      Lisa, I don’t know if John has subscribed to this thread, but I would assume that by simply decreasing the amount of sugar in stages and experimenting with the recipe, you could find the amount that agrees with you. After all, this recipe is done and ready to eat in just a couple of days, so it won’t take long to find your ideal amount.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.