Farmer’s markets in much of the country are offering all kinds of cukes for pickling, so now is a great time to make pickles (grocery store cukes tend to turn out soggy, not crisp). They take a week but they’re very easy to make: Figure out how much brine you need (I usually make 20 ounces or 500 grams), add 5% salt by weight (20 x .05 = 1 ounce, 500 x .05 = 25 grams), combine these ingredients in a pot with a bunch of tarragon and plenty of garlic smashed once with the flat side of a knife, bring it to a simmer, then thoroughly chill it.
Pour the chilled brine over your vegetables and put them in a cool spot in your kitchen or basement. Make sure they’re completely submerged. Taste them after seven days. You will have a pleasantly sour, naturally fermented pickle. If you’ve stored them in a cold place, the fermentation can be slower. Too hot, over 75 degrees or so, and you can develop some funky sliminess on top, which you don’t want.
There’s more detailed information in Charcuterie and Ratio, of course (if you want to keep them in the fridge for a long time, you may want to reboil and chill the brine to halt the fermentation), but the variations, whether you want to make root vegetable pickles, traditional dill pickles, or spicy kimchi, are infinite and they couldn’t be simpler. And they go just fine with a short rib pastrami sandwich!