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Garlic Dill Brine Pickles

Debra Redalia

 

 

I’ve had my attention on making these pickles this week and was wondering when pickling cucumbers would appear. And, lo-and-behold, found the first pickling cucumbers at one of my local farmer’s market. And fresh dill! And new crop garlic. So these are completely a homemade product of the farmer’s market.

These pickles are very simple to make, and very fresh because they are completely raw. Most pickles nowadays are made with hot vinegar poured over the vegetables—which cooks them—but brine pickles are made the old slow way with fermentation breaking down and preserving the vegetables.

Fermented brine pickles are also supercharged with enzymes that aid digestion. They contain the natural full spectrum probiotics of the place where you live and make your pickles.

I love these crunchy garlic dill cucumber pickles.

GARLIC DILL BRINE PICKLES
makes 16 6-inch pickles

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 2 pounds unwaxed pickling cucumbers
  • 2 heads garlic
  • filtered or spring water
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt or The Original Himalayan Crystal Salt

Instructions

  1. Line a bowl with the dill.
  2. Place the cucumbers in the bowl, lying on their sides.
  3. Crush the garlic cloves by placing each clove under the blade of a large knife and giving them a sharp thwack with the heel of your hand. Tuck the garlic cloves in around the cucumbers.
  4. Add water to cover all.
  5. Sprinkle salt over the top.
  6. Cover with the plate and put the weight on top. Place on the tray.
  7. Let sit for 24 hours, then remove a pickle and taste. If it’s good for you, remove everything from the bowl, put it in a big glass jar, and put it in the refrigerator. The chill will stop the fermentation right there. If you want stronger pickles, let them sit another day. Keep testing til they suit your taste, then refrigerate. I usually let mine sit for three days.

    Choose a crockery bowl large enough to hold all the cucumbers, with at least an inch of room to spare at the top. Choose a plate that will fit inside the bowl on top of the cucumbers. You’ll also need a weight. I use a full gallon jar. And, you’ll need a tray or baking pan to put under the bowl during the fermentation (as cucumbers release their juice, I’ve had the bowl overflow) or use a bigger bowl.
    The longer the pickles sit, the more “cooked” they get. That is, the more they will soften and look like the standard cooked pickle. But you don’t have to wait to that stage to eat them. Try them at various degrees of fermentation and see which you like best.
    I find that each of the cucumbers will ferment at a different rate, which is why I start checking them on Day 2. I started these on Monday and by Wednesday there was one cucumber that was fully fermented, and today all the others are still only partially fermented. And size matters. These cucumbers were pretty big as pickling cucumbers go. Smaller cucumbers will ferment faster.