Easy. Easy. Easy. No water bath, special equipment, or wondering if the jars are sealed. Just slice the vegetables, heat the vinegar, and wait a day. I find that these pickles stay crisper than the ones I process in a water bath. The sugar helps balance the acidity but if you don't want to use it you can certainly leave it out. Experiment with your favorite vegetable and get pickling!
makes one pint jar
2 zucchini (yellow or green) or cucumbers, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or mixture (see below for quantity)
1/4 cup sugar
1. Add sliced vegetables to the jar along with the spices and salt, fitting in as much as possible. To figure out how much vinegar you will need, fill the jar with water then empty that water out into a measuring cup. That is how much vinegar you will need (I find it's usually about 1 cup).
2. Add the determined amount of vinegar to a saucepan along with the sugar. Bring to a simmer. When sugar is dissolved turn off heat.
3. Pour vinegar into the jar and gently tap it on the counter to release any air bubbles. The vinegar should come up to the top, if not, just add a bit more cold vinegar to fill it up. Screw cap on tight and give a little shake to disperse spices. Let cool to room temperature then store in the refrigerator.