Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center

Quick Refrigerator Pickles

This is a recipe I look to when I can no longer close my crisper drawers. I have pickled carrots, beets, onions, beans, fennel, garlic, lettuce, cabbage… The recipe below will give you the proportions for vinegar, sugar and salt – this is the basis of pickling. The flavors are determined by your whim, imagination, or simply what you have on hand.


  • 2 C White vinegar
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 2 T Kosher, canning or other non-iodized salt
  • Spices and herbs, see note below

  • Prepare your veg and cut into the bite-sized pieces of your choosing. For carrots I like matchsticks; for beets I like thin half-moon slices, approx. 1/8”, or small wedges; for lettuce or cabbage separate each leaf. For most vegetables I don’t cook them in the brine – my rule of thumb is that if I’ll eat it raw I don’t bother cooking it.

    Pack the vegetables and any additional flavorings (such as fresh herbs, onions, garlic or peppers) into a canning or other heat-proof jar. Bring the vinegar, sugar, salt and dried spices to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes to make sure the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour the vinegar mixture into your jar with vegetables. Cool, then refrigerate, and eat within two weeks for best flavor.

    Note on spices, herbs & other flavorings:

    I will use what I have on hand. For a basic savory pickle try mustard seed, coriander and dill (fresh dill is amazing)… this is great for carrots, fennel or green beans. Hot chili flakes or fresh jalapeño slices add great flavor and kick as well. For something a little sweeter try cloves, cinnamon and allspice – great for beets or fennel or onions. But, really there is no wrong flavor, so have fun experimenting!

    Basic spice mixture:

    • 1 T Mustard seed
    • 2 tsp Black peppercorns
    • 2 tsp Coriander seeds
    • 1/2 stick Cinnamon
    • 1 1/2 tsp Allspice berries