Our summer harvest has produced bushels of fresh cucumbers. We have been enjoying them in salads, in fresh juices and now I want to save the extra cucumbers for fall consumption. “Pickles” are the best way. I adore making pickles, along with getting to taste the summer flavors in the fall and winter. Pickles are a fermented food- lacto-fermented product filled with probiotics and healthy minerals.
This recipe is very easy to make the the pickles can be started to eaten in 3-5 days. The longer they ferment the better they taste.
Easy Homemade Dill Pickles
Makes 1 quart sized jar
2 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of fresh dill (the flowered heads of the dill taste the best for these pickles, so use them if you can get them)
½ tsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp whole peppercorns
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon sea salt
handful of fresh grape, raspberry, oak, blackberry or cherry leaves (these types of leaves supply tannins, which help keep the pickles crispy and crunchy)
onion or a clean rock piece to weigh the cucumbers down and keep them submerged in the brine
Decide what size pickles you would like and cut your cucumbers into your desired size. Keep in mind that sliced cucumbers will ferment faster than whole cucumbers. Pack your cucumber slices into your jar. Pack them tight! Add the spices on top. Mix the water and sea salt together until the salt is dissolved. Pour your water/salt over the pickles. Leave about an inch of space between the water and the top of the jar. All the cucumbers must be submerged in the water. If you are having trouble getting them totally submerged, you may need to add a “weight” to the jar to keep them submerged. I like to add a big chunk of onion. Not only does the onion give great flavor, but it does a good job of keeping the cucumbers under the water. You may also add a clean rock if you don’t want to use an onion.