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!