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!

pickles-1-8298811Using 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?