Pickling 101

Half-Sour

Just past the corner from my old New York City apartment, sat a small shop simply called Pickles & Olives.  Whenever my parents came to stay with me, my Dad would religiously visit the shop, chat up the owner, and return with armfuls of fermented goods and fresh-made hummus; my favorite were always the half-sour pickles.  A few weeks ago, I made a batch of my own at home and have become somewhat of a pickling monster in the days since.  I love the traditional variety (recipe below) but I’ve also added several twists with bread-and-butter slices, apple cider vinegar, basil, and hot pepper flakes.  They’re all delicious.  Around here we’ve been eating them by the jarful and adding them to cocktails too (Try them in a Vodka Martini!).

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Pickling 101
 
Author:
Recipe type: Nibbles
Ingredients
  • 3.5 Cups Filtered Water
  • ½ Cup Distilled White Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 3-4 Cloves Garlic per Jar, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Stem Fresh Dill
  • 10-12 Whole Black Peppercorns per Jar
  • 1 Small Bay Leaf per Jar (Optional)
  • Hot Pepper Flakes (Optional)
  • 3-4 Pickling (Kirby, Mini, etc.) Cucumbers per Jar
Instructions
  1. Bring the water, vinegar, and salt to a boil over high heat, allowing the salt to dissolve into the brine. Set aside and allow to cool completely (This is an extremely important step as a warm brine will create mushy pickles!).
  2. Fill your jars with the garlic, dill, peppercorns, and any additional herbs and spices. Place the sliced cucumbers on top, packing them in tightly (I halved my cucumbers for this post so I could only fit 4-5 in per jar, however, you can fit 8-10 quartered spears or loads and loads of slices!). Pour in the cooled brine.
  3. Lightly cover the jars with a napkin or a dishcloth and allow to sit at room temperature, overnight.
  4. Remove the napkin and seal your jars. Store in the refrigerator. Depending upon how tart you like them, the pickles can be eaten after an additional 1-3 days, as they will continue to sour. Once opened, they're best consumed within a week.
Notes
- This will fill 3, 16 Ounce Jars

I prefer my pickles to be less tart, more salty, but if you like it the other way around, you can easily increase the vinegar added proportionally to the water. The idea is to have 4 cups of liquid total.

 

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25 Responses to Pickling 101

  1. avraciu says:

    never thought of using red pepper flakes, i’m definitely going to try that!

  2. Yum! Always wanted to make pickles at home.

  3. Oh Yum! I am going to be coming into a lot of garden cucumbers soon. I am holding onto this one!

  4. Thanks for posting your recipe, I am definitely going to be needing a good recipe for all of my cucumbers. I love your photographs too.

  5. Patricia Ann says:

    They look really good!

  6. Sarah Walter says:

    Beautiful! Stunning post (love the font too).

  7. Great recipe! Thanks for more inspiration! My mom used to make our pickles growing up but I haven’t tried it yet. p.s. TOO FUNNY – we just left Manhattan 6 weeks ago and used to live a couple of blocks from Pickle and Olive! What a small world! UES Rocks!

  8. marisaporter says:

    Wegmans has these big pickles in barrels that you fish out of the barrel and they’re awesome. I’m a pickle monster.

  9. marisaporter says:

    I’m so glad you know what I’m talking about! ;)

  10. Lovely post and photos! I’m going to ask a silly question but I want to be sure! When you say you cover the jars and leave overnight, you mean without lids, right? Then put the lids on and refrigerate, without hot water baths etc? I’m looking forward to trying these!

    • jjbegonia says:

      Yes, exactly – Cover the jars with just a napkin or a dishcloth and let them sit at room temperature overnight. Once that’s been done, seal them up, and refrigerate : )

  11. Pingback: Pickled Peppers - If You Can Read, You Can Cook

  12. I love pickles! I’ll be making these soon. Thanks for the great recipe and beautiful photographs.

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