Let’s make pickles!
What you’ll need:
- Pickling cucumbers
- Fresh dill (heads and stalks)
- Mustard seeds
- Crushed red pepper
- Celtic sea salt
- In a quart-sized mason jar, add 1-2 cloves of garlic and some sliced onion. Add ¼ tsp. of mustard seeds and ¼ tsp. of red pepper flakes.
- Also in the jar, add your pickling cucumbers and fresh dill. Pack your cucumbers tightly into the jar so they won’t float.
- You will want to add either raspberry leaves, blackberry leaves, oak leaves, grape leaves, a bay leaf or black tea leaves to provide your ferment with tannin. Tannin will prevent your pickles from getting soggy and give them a nice crunch.
- If using oak leaves, don’t use too many, as oak has a dominant flavor
- If you do not have any of the above options, you can do a 30-minute ice bath for your pickles before fermenting
- One additional option is cutting off the blossom end of the pickling cucumber
- In a clean quart sized jar, fill with filtered water and add a 1 to 2 tbsps. of Celtic sea salt and mix until salt has dissolved. This mixture is your brine (I use 1 tbsp.)
- Pour the brine over your pickling cucumbers until they are entirely submerged leaving about 1” of space at the top.
- Cap your jar and let sit on the counter – warmer temperatures speed up the fermenting process
- Sliced pickles will be ready in about two days
- Whole pickles will be ready in about five days
- Mark your jar(s) with the date that you made the ferment. You can also list the spices if you want to try different combinations.
Once you open your jar(s), store in the refrigerator.
Remember these are your pickles, you can use any combination of herbs and spices. Don’t be shy! Increase or decrease the amount of spice to your taste.
Note: Your pickles will continue to ferment once they are in the refrigerator and will get soft if you leave them for too long.