I discovered a great American dill pickle hiding on produce shelves just waiting for you to create. See how easy-peasy it is with a new variety of hydroponic cucumber to make this great pickle any time of year.
Cucumbers: Hydroponic cucumbers are showing up at many supermarkets. They are uniform in size, thinnish, smoothed skin and 6 of them can slip right into a one quart jar like it was made for them. These cucumbers are pre-packed like above and are inexpensive to purchase. They are called mini-English, mini-cucumbers, gourmet, and others. For instance, Trader Joes has an organic six-pack.
Garlic: 4 cloves, sliced
Pickling Spices: this is a common blend found in supermarkets that contains bay leaves, dill, mustard, coriander and several other seeds. Use 1 Tablespoon. [Note: recipe at bottom.]
Fresh Dill: Supermarkets stock fresh dill and some even have small packages of fresh herbs. If you do not have fresh dill, add 2 tsp. of dill seed (not weed) for the next best dill option (in addition to the pickling spice)
Brine: Dissolve 1 TBS. sea salt with 2 cups filtered water
PREPPING HINT: If using garden grown cucumbers, here is how to make them firmer. Fresh cucumbers are very important to successful fermenting. Your best bet is right out of the garden. Here is a way to improve texture and success with cucumbers.
- Dissolve 1/3 cup plain table salt in 1 quart regular tap water.
- Soak whole cucumbers for 30 minutes; placing a small saucer atop the cukes to keep submerged.
- Rinse cucumbers and lightly brush under running water.
To a clean, one quart jar add the pickling spices
Fill the jar with the cucumbers. If required, cut only the last cuke to fit. They will hold up better if left whole during fermentation. Clear a space in center of jar.
Add garlic and dill into the center.
Add enough brine to completely cover the ingredients. Use instructions for your fermenter to seal the jar. If you have an airlock fermentor kit, complete by setting in catch cup and threading on the lid, install the airlock.
Ferment four days. Use cooler and ice blocks if warmer than 74ºF
Flavor will deepen after another four days in fridge
Recipe Alternatives – Bread & Butter Pickles from the same batch
After fermentation is complete you can easily convert some or all of your Easy-Peasy Dill Pickles into sweet and sour gems. Here’s how.
- Slice the finished pickles into your favorite shape
- Mix 2 TBS. each sweetener and apple cider vinegar per quart. Remove enough brine to make room.
- Ready in 24 hours
If you don’t have fresh cukes, no problem! I have successfully used asparagus, cauliflower, or Vidalia onion slices, or a combination. That unique flavor of dill, garlic, and spices will shine through and yield delicious results.