I love bread and butter pickles. That sweet tangy crunch layered into burgers, diced in tunafish sandwiches, or just grabbed straight out of the jar and snacked on. As a kid it was the only pickled thing I really liked. Dill pickles, pickled onions, pickled beets, etc… Ick. Or at least that’s what my palate at a minion’s age thought. Since then I’ve come to love and appreciate many other pickles, especially after spending nearly 2 decades eating Vietnamese food. It seems like the Vietnamese pickle just about anything and Diane’s mom and, of course Diane, are seriously good at it. But my first and true pickle love are still the bread and butter pickles.
Of course not all bread and butter pickles are the same. Most all have a good flavor, some just varying in sweetness or maybe given a spicy kick. But the real test for me is the crunch. The make-or-break factor for my favorite pickles is all about a great crunch.
Out of the commercially-made pickles I love Bubbies the most. Their Bread and Butter Chips are always a staple in our fridge. I want to love so many of the different artisan or homemade pickles I’ve tried but so many times they have a lifeless texture. Where’s the coveted crunch? Maybe I just haven’t found the right one.
Watch quick video we made for these Bread and Butter Pickles!
The last few summers we’ve finally gotten our garden cucumbers to their happy place and we’ve been getting quite the harvest. Usually growing either Persian cucumbers or Japanese cucumbers (unless the starters at the nursery have been mislabeled – had one of those this year). The Persian and Japanese cucumbers have such a great crunch, even if we lag a little in picking them from the vines to make these bread and butter pickles.
However I’ve been a bit hesitant about making pickles out of them. What if I suck at pickling them and they have that lifeless softness? It would be such a waste. How do you keep that crunch when you pickle them?
So this summer I was determined to figure it out. After consulting the pickle masters (Diane and her mom, of course- their pickled stuff is the crunchiest), I had a plan of action. Salt it and let it sit for an hour or two. Rinse, pat dry, and then let it sit out overnight to dry out a bit more. Then finish with the pickling brine and jar ’em up.
I’m happy to report that the pickles are badass. Great crunch, great flavor. With the cucumbers growing like monsters in the garden this year, I might not be buying any Bubbies for quite some time. Sorry Bubbies.
Here’s a great and unique cucumber recipe .
- 3 pounds crisp cucumbers , sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1/2 medium onion , thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup kosher salt or sea salt
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon tumeric
Place the cucumbers and onions in a colander resting in a large bowl or in the sink. Toss with the salt and let stand for 1-2 hours (the cucumbers will release a lot of water during salting).
Rinse the cucumbers and onions and then place in a single layer on a couple of sheet pans lined with paper towels. Cover with another layer of paper towels and let dry overnight.
The next day, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and turmeric in a large saucepan. Heat to a boil.
Fill your sterilized canning jars with the cucumbers and onions, leaving about 1/2-inch space from the top of the jars. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and onions to fill the jars. Seal the jars according to manufacturer's instructions.
Store in the refrigerator and allow to sit for several days before opening to allow the flavors to fully develop. Best served chilled.
Post was originally published in 2014. Re-published in 2018 with new updates.