Veggie Resolution #10: Pickles

Cooking / Eating In

I know pickles are usually considered more of a garnish than a vegetable, but since I started with cucumbers from my CSA, I’m totally counting this as a Veggie Resolution!  The idea of making my own pickles first crept into my head when I saw this post on my friend Penny’s blog, and it bloomed full force when my CSA pick-up included four pounds of cucumbers last week.  That’s a lot of cukes, see for yourself!

Using Penny’s post as a guide, I compiled the supplies and ingredients I needed:

  • 4 lbs cucumbers (Penny specified dill pickles, but I’m not sure what these kind were – they still worked!)
  • Multiple glass jars (I used 3)
  • Fresh dill (enough to drop 3-4 sprigs into each jar)
  • Pickling spice (enough to drop about a 2 tsp into each jar)
  • Fresh garlic, sliced (enough to drop about 1-3 sliced cloves into each jar)
  • 6 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 6 cups water
  • 4tbsp + 4tsp sea salt
  • 4tbsp sugar

The above will vary depend on how many pickles you have and what size jars, of course.  For example, I doubled the brine recipe because the jars I got were big.  Also, Penny’s recipe calls for mustard seed, which I couldn’t find ANYWHERE in my neighborhood.  I coincidentally had trouble finding jars as well (got these from the $1 store) – do people in NYC just not make their own pickles? I don’t know. Aaaanyway – moral of the story, feel free to adjust the above measurements accordingly!

1. First, cut up the pickles into spear or circles and evenly distribute among your jars (first picture)

2. Add the dill, pickling spice, and garlic to each jar:

3. Make the brine! In a large pot, stir together your vinegar, water, sea salt, and sugar.  Bring to a boil and make sure the sugar and salt is dissolved into the mixture.  Let it boil for about 2 minutes, then remove from heat.

4. Once the brine has cooled a bit, pour into each jar so that the cukes are completely submerged.  When safe to cap, cover the jars and refrigerate them!

Penny suggests waiting 72 hours for the pickles to reach their full briny potential.  About 48 hours in, I snuck a taste, and they were soooo good!  Super sour, tart and crispy.  So yum!!

PS  This post is my contribution to Food Network’s Summer Fest!  Looking for other cucumber recipes? Check out the other participants!

Pinch My Salt: Chilled Cucumber, Kefir and Avocado Soup

What’s Gaby Cooking: Cucumber-Basil Gimlet

In Jennie’s Kitchen: Radish-Cucumber Crostini

Big Girl Small Kitchen: Spicy Cucumber Salad with Shallot, Ginger and Mint

Grecian Kitchen: Summer Cucumber Salad

And Love It Too: Cucumber, Mint and Watermelon Salad

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Cucumbers Coolers with Agave Simple Syrup

Cooking With My Kid: Cucumber Limeade

FN Dish: Summer Fest: Cucumber Recipes

CIA Dropout: Relishing Cucumbers

Healthy Eats: Cool Cucumber Soup

Food for 7 Stages of Life: Cucumber Cherry Salsa

Cooking With Elise: Green Tea Cucumber Pops

Glory Foods: Cucumber and Shrimp Boat

Virtually Vegan Mama: Fire-Roasted Tomato and Cucumber Gazpacho

Food2: When Life Gives You Cucumbers, Make a Cucumber Cocktail

Cooking Channel: Cucumbers Stuffed with Crab-Mango Salad

Recipe Girl: Bread and Butter Pickles

Taste With the Eyes: Spicy Pickled Cucumbers with Wakame and Garlic Blossoms

Virtually Homemade: Cold Thai Cucumber-Mint Soup

Add a Pinch: Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

The Cultural Dish: Ahi Tuna with Cucumber Sauce and Salad

Daily*Dishin: Cool n’ Zesty Cukes: 7 Minute Summer in a Jar

Daydreamer Desserts: Cubanita Margarita

Purple Cook: Cucumber Gazpacho with Indian Flavored Shrimp Relish

Indian Simmer: Cucumber at its Best with Chaat Masala

Sweet Life Bake: Agua de Pepino

The Sensitive Epicure: Tzatziki with Grilled Gluten-Free Pitas and Fresh Cucumbers and Peppers

Zaika Zabardast: Cucumber Gazpacho

A Way to Garden: Cucumber-Growing Q&A and the Best Pickles

Cooking with Books: Summer Fest: Cucumbers

Have you ever made pickles before? What are your favorite add-ins?

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Amanda
    July 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    YUM! I am definitely going to have to try this soon – pickles are my favorite!

  • Reply
    Kim
    July 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Yum! I am a huge fan of anything pickled 🙂 Where did you get the pickling spice? I’ve never heard of it. Also, try your local Indian market for mustard seeds – they are a huge ingredient in lots of Indian cooking and you can usually get a large bag for cheap!

    • Reply
      Serena
      July 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      The pickling spices were in the spice section of my local grocery store (well, one store had them and the other didn’t). I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but it was the same type of jar that the cinnamon, garlic powder, paprika, etc. is in. Hope that helps! And thanks for the tip on the mustard seed!

  • Reply
    Kira
    July 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I saw Penny’s post too, both of your pickles are making my mouth water! I feel like I have to try this!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    July 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Call me crazy but I’ve never seen a pickle recipe using garlic… maybe that’s cuz I’m partial to sweet pickles but I should try these!

  • Reply
    Layla
    July 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    There is NOTHING better than a homemade pickle, in my opinion. Yum.

  • Reply
    kelsey
    July 20, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I love pickles!! I just bought some the other day, but I would love to make my own and you and Snappy make it look so easy!

  • Reply
    Meister @ The Nervous Cook
    July 20, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Four pounds of cucumbers?!? You’ve got quite the productive CSA there, lady! I’m jealous.

    It’s funny: One of the first things I did on my blog was quick-pickle some green beans, but since then I’ve found myself a bit spooked off pickling for some reason. Maybe it’s the result of having to take the Dept. of Health’s food-handler class — they really try to put the fear of G-d in you about botulism! But… pickles are so good, and…

    I think it’s time I just stop talking and start pickling! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Reply
    honeymyheart
    July 20, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    this is so cool. i’ve never seen homemade pickles but am now tempted to try it.

  • Reply
    Catherine
    July 20, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    We used to make pickled diakon and carrots when I was a kid.

  • Reply
    Elise Johnson
    July 21, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Love this blog! So glad I found you through the FN Summer Fest! And, THE PICTURES, the one with the dill and pickling spices…love it! made me happy! Can’t wait to try!

  • Reply
    Amy
    July 21, 2011 at 11:01 am

    ooh pickles! they look tasty and i love me a crispy pickle!

  • Reply
    Charity
    July 22, 2011 at 4:16 am

    I actually just said out loud, “oh my word look at your beautiful pictures!” Love this idea too. My toddler devours pickles every chance she gets so I’ll try these for sure.

    On that note, I’d love to toss another recipe into the ring for cucumber week. It’s a kid-friendly recipe from The Food Network Magazine: Chicken with Pickle Sauce.

    Best, Charity

    • Reply
      Serena
      July 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm

      Thank you! Mmm, I’ll have to try this recipe!

  • Reply
    Mina
    July 22, 2011 at 8:57 am

    i do love pickles. thanks for all the ideas!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    foodwanderings
    July 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Love this post and the pic with all the jars all lined up is fab!

  • Reply
    Mark
    August 2, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Yes! The best part of summer gardens! I can’t believe how people eat the megamart brand pickles. They will never compare. Thanks for the great post!

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    August 22, 2011 at 4:16 am

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    Heather
    September 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I love this recipe – exactly what I was looking for to use up the the last of my Summer Cucumbers; beautiful photos & blog!

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