Quick Summer Pickles Recipe
Admittedly, the work "Quick" in the title refers more to them being ready right away to eat -- there's just no way to avoid the vegetable prep that has to be done. But this is a fabulous homemade pickle, and you just can't buy tastes like this.
Slice cucumber in half lengthwise; scoop out the seeds. Cut into thin slices. In a small bowl, toss with 1 teaspoon of salt, and let stand in a colander to drain.
Peel the onion, slice into rounds, cut each round in half.
Wash and trim the radishes. Cut into halves or slices.
Wash the pepper, seed it, and cut into strips.
Wash the fennel, trim and cut into strips.
Wash the baby carrots, and cut into halves or quarters.
Toss all the vegetables save the cucumber in a large bowl, then pour boiling water over them to cover them. Immediately drain them in another colander, then put them back in the bowl, and add the cucumber.
Heat in a small pan the seeds until the mustard seed starts to pop, then add the vinegar, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, bay leaves and peeled garlic cloves, and let this simmer for a few minutes.
Then pour this liquid over the vegetables, tossing them occasionally in it as it cools. Transfer to a large, sterile jar. If there's not enough vinegar to cover all the vegetables in the jar, top up with a little more. Cover the jar, and store in fridge.
Use up within 3 weeks. If you wish, you may add to the jar a sprig of rosemary or thyme. If your bulb of fennel comes with the tops, if you wish you can add some of them, chopped, to the vegetables when you add the cucumber to them.