Like most picky eaters, when I was a child I frequently decided I didn’t like things without actually trying them. Pickles were one of these foods. The vinegar smell turned me off and I didn’t see anything to gain by eating that weird smelly cucumber on the plate when I could just pass it off to a family member. I also loved cucumbers as a child, so I am sure part of the thinking was why did you ruin my perfectly cucumber?
Well fast forward 20 years and we received four huge cucumbers in our CSA box. I couldn’t deny the fact that pickles were an obvious choice for using and preserving them. I have had some pickles as an adult that I didn’t hate, often at restaurants where they were homemade.
I opted for refrigerator pickles because a. I think the vinegar flavor is a little milder than canned pickles since they don’t require as much vinegar for preservation purposes.; and b. I don’t want to mess with boiling cans and hoping I won’t give myself salmonella.
I waited to post this recipe until we were able to taste the final product to be sure they were good! I actually really liked them! I made sure to flavor the pickles with some of my favorite things: garlic, red pepper flakes, and peppercorns. In addition, you can’t have pickles with some sprigs of dill, mustard, and coriander seeds.
We have already polished off one jar, they are so delicious! I was impressed how crisp the pickles stayed even though I didn’t use pickling cucumbers. The pickled garlic cloves are a great treat when you get to the bottom too!
First we fill mason jars with mustard seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and sprigs of dill.
Water and vinegar are simmered with cloves of garlic and salt. The garlic is removed and placed in jars, jars packed with cucumbers, and brine poured into the jars.
Lids are screwed on and jars are refrigerated for two weeks. After two weeks you can open them up and start using them!
- 3 8 oz mason jars
- 9 cloves garlic
- 2 large cucumbers
- 3/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 3/4 tsp coriander seeds
- 3/4 tsp black peppercorns
- 6 sprigs fresh dill
- 3/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 tbls white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbls kosher salt
First, prepare your jars. Place ¼ tsp each of mustard seed, coriander seed and black peppercorns, 2 sprigs of dill, and 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (if using) into each jar.
Cut the cucumbers into spears. I think mine were cut into eights width-wise and roughly thirds lengthwise. Be sure to test the height if the cucumbers in the jar to ensure the lids will close.
Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a simmer. Once simmering, add the garlic cloves and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and salt and bring the pot to a boil. Cook until the salt dissolves. Turn off heat.
Using tongs or a spoon, remove the garlic from the pot and place 3 cloves into the bottom of each jar. Pack the jars with the sticks of cucumber; you want them to be tightly packed. Then, pour the brine over the cucumbers and fill to the top. Screw on the tops and refrigerate. After 2 weeks they will be ready to eat!