Green Grass Refrigerator Pickles

Words and Recipe by Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
Recipe via The Whole Hog Cookbook

Grandma had a sunporch that was nearly falling off the southeast side of her old farmhouse. Each year, after the late-summer cucumber harvest, a rickety shelf running along the ceiling of the sunporch was lined with jars of the most unnaturally green sweet pickles a child could imagine. The same nuclear green pickles could be found in the refrigerator, for the grandkids to help themselves to. It was not unusual to be playing ball outside each summer and notice the players on both teams had green-stained fingertips. When I ate my first hot dog in Chicago, I finally came face to face with another relish as green as Grandma’s. I was relieved to know my grandma wasn’t the only crazy green pickle maker in the nation. Thank you, Vienna Beef. I’m forever grateful. 

Green Grass Refrigerator Pickles
yields 2 quarts

Ingredients: 4 large cucumbers, skin left on. 2 banana peppers. 1 medium onion. 1 teaspoon kosher salt. 2 cups sugar. 1 cup cider vinegar. 1 teaspoon celery seeds. 4 drops green food coloring (optional).

STEP ONE: Slice the cucumbers and peppers into thick slices and the onion into thin slices.

STEP TWO: Put the sliced vegetables in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Toss to coat and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

STEP THREE: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, celery seeds and 1 cup water.

STEP FOUR: Add the green food coloring, if using, to the vinegar mixture. Whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.

STEP FIVE: Transfer the cucumber mixture to 2 clean quart jars or other glass containers.

STEP SIX: Pour the brine over the cucumber mixture, cover, and refrigerate for 2 days before eating.

Pickles are ready to eat!! Best when eaten within two weeks.
Recipe from The Whole Hog Cookbook by Libbie Summers (Rizzoli) Photography courtesy of Chia Chong


Libbie’s Food Styling Props: Shot on an antique butcher block table from Habersham Antiques Market, Vintage pyrex a treasure from my Grandma’s kitchen, clear glass refrigerator boxes are from Pyrex, vintage kitchen towel from the most adorable store in Birmingham, Alabama called Charm, linen apron from Libeco.


Other Pickle Recipes from Salted and Styled:
Farm Stand Refrigerator Pickled Vegetables
Green Grass Refrigerator Pickles
Hot Peppered Pickled Pig’s Feet
Pickled Loquats