OMG, these pickles are deleeeshious! And so easy. It will take you 10 minutes. Contrary to popular opinion, these pickles can be made using regular cucumbers rather than having to buy pickling cuckes. Yes, the skins are thicker, but they taste just great. I love this recipe because it makes 1 quart and 1 pint at a time. So when I have four cucumbers from the garden, I just cut and squeeze them into a jar, pour over the brining liquid, shake the jar a couple times a day, and 10 days layer I have exquisite dill pickles. Give them a try. This is a particularly good recipe to introduce you to fermented foods. You’ll get hooked, I promise.
Lacto-Fermented Garlic Dill Pickles
Makes 1 quart
• 5-6 medium pickling cucumbers (about 1 lb) – look for firm, unblemished, bumpy ones
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped coarsely
• 1 sprig thyme
• 1 sprig oregano
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 small bunch of dill
• 3-4 small grapevine leaves (optional, but keeps the pickles crisp)
• 2 tsp coriander seeds
• 1-2 tsp turmeric powder
• 1 tsp fennel seeds
• 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1-2 TB sea salt (I prefer a rounded tablespoon)
• 1-1/2 cups filtered water
• 1/2 cup raw, unfiltered cider vinegar
1. Wash the cucumbers, but don’t scrub them (you want to leave some lactobacillus bacteria on them) and rub off any spines.
2. Trim about 1/8 inch off the blossom end of the cucumbers. This removes an enzyme that can make your pickles limp. I also cut the cucumbers into halves or quarters so they fit together better in the jar.
3. Put the other Main Ingredients in a 1 quart largemouth canning jar and then pack cucumbers in as tightly as possible (try not to bruise them in the process).
4. Mix the brine ingredients together in a bowl and then pour the mixture into the jar to cover the cucumbers completely, leaving about 1/2 inch headspace.
5. Cover with a canning jar lid and band, write the date or day on the jar (a Sharpie works), place the jar in a bowl (to catch any overflow or leakage on the days the jar is inverted) and once a day, for a week, flip the jar over to redistribute the spices that will tend to settle to the bottom.
6. After a week, keep the jar in the refrigerated. Enjoy!
The original recipe said these would keep for a month in the refrigerator, but I have some that are several months old and they are just as crispy and delicious as they started out. Remember that with fermented vegetables, if they look or smell bad or appear slimy, don’t eat them!
(Photo and recipe from http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/pickling/quick-and-easy-fermented-dill-pickles-zbcz1508.aspx. They adapted the recipe from A Platter of Figs, David Tannis)