A couple weeks ago, I shared that we’ve been trying our hand at pickling. Each year, it seems like we have an over-abundance of one vegetable. The first year, it was zucchini. Last year was tomatoes. And 2014 is the year of the cucumber (and dill). One weekend we picked 14 cucumbers! We’ve probably picked about 800 this summer, give or take 100.
Knowing we could only eat so much cucumber salad, I sent a distress call to Instagram asking people for recipe ideas. Stephanie responded with tzatziki and pickles. Since we also have a plethora of dill in our garden, I wanted to try to make dill pickles. She referred me to Ted Allen’s quick refrigerator pickle recipe. Less than an hour later, I was leaving Target with 2 quart-sized mason jars and extra lids. After Monica went to bed, I made my first batch of pickles.
Friends, this recipe is FANTASTIC! I tasted the pickles the next morning (yes, before eating my cereal) and they were good! Later that day (less than 24 hours after putting them in fridge), they were amazing! John practically polished off a quart-sized jar by himself. And I’m happy to report that two quart-sized jars made a little dent in our bumper crop by using 2.5 cucumbers and a bit of dill. There was a bit of brine left over that I could have used for another pint- or possibly quart-sized jar.
John made another batch of pickles a few days later, but they didn’t seem that spectacular. Maybe it was because he didn’t measure the ingredients exactly (so possibly skimping on some ingredients). Fortunately, he redeemed himself Labor Day weekend with a stellar batch of pickles. This time, he made sure to measure everything and included coriander seeds (we didn’t use them in the first two batches). I don’t know if it was the coriander seeds or what, but these pickles were zippy and almost spicy! If you find yourself with too many cucumbers, or are feeling impulsive at the farmer’s market, these pickles make for an inexpensive and tasty snack.
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 6 teaspoons kosher salt
- Several sprigs of fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2-3 cucumbers
- In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat so the water simmers and add the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and salt. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat.
- In 2 clear 1-quart jars, place a few sprigs of dill. Divide the seeds and peppercorns between the jars. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the garlic from the brine and place 5 cloves in each jar. Then pack the jars full of cucumbers. You want them to be tightly stuffed.
- Bring the brine back to a boil, pour it over the vegetables to cover completely. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate. The pickles will taste good in just a few hours, and even better after a couple of days. And they'll keep for about 3 months (not that we've waited that long).
Ted's original recipe also recommends adding carrots, cauliflower, green beans, scallions, and/or hot peppers to the mix.