We’re big pickle lovers on this side of the planet. I have some very distant memories of my dad storing massive jars of pickled olives and lemons in the kitchen back in Melbourne when I was a kid, and quite a few of my mother always selecting the slim and slender cucumbers from the supermarket because they were the best type for pickling. I also remember her stories of her own youth, and how at her home, her sister would pickle jars and jars of things with lemons and chili-peppers all year round. As for moi, I’m a total sucker for pickles – pickled olives, carrots, turnips, cucumbers, onions; you name it and ill eat it. I’ll even pop them onto my plate at restaurant salad bars. But as with all things that are preserved in a ton of salty brine, you need to wonder… if it’s not homemade, how safe is it, really?
My take on things is that if its made at home, it’ll likely have far less chemicals, additives, preservatives, and while it wont last as long, it’s probably a whole lot better for you and you’d be doing yourself, your kids, your friends, and whoever eats from your plates a huge favor. These dill pickles are made using fresh dill (the traditional recipe calls for dill seeds but for practicality, the real thing worked just fine), and other basic ingredients you’ll find in your pantry – not overly complicated, easy to combine, and the end result is pretty perfect – crispy, crunchy, super-green colored pickles that are, quite frankly, delightful. Take a moment of your time this weekend and make a batch.
Items you’ll need:
3 half-liter (500mg) jars
1 kilo slender cucumbers
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons salt
3 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
I teaspoon peppercorns, divided
3 small sprigs of fresh dill, divided
3 pinches red chili flakes, divided
Wash the jars in hot water to sterilize, and leave to dry upside-down on a kitchen towel.
In a pot on the stove, make your brine: add water, vinegar, and salt, and bring to boil until salt dissolves. Set aside and leave to cool.
Wash your cucumbers, and remove top and bottom. Cut each cucumber lengthwise into 4 sticks, and cut in half again. Set aside.
Set your jars on the counter in a row. Divide minced garlic, peppercorns, fresh dill, and chili flakes amongst your 3 jars.
Take your cucumbers, and pack them tightly standing into each of the jars.
When your brine has cooled to warm, ladle or pour evenly into each jar, covering the cucumbers. Make sure you leave about a centimeter of space at the top of the jar before closing.
Close jars, and place into the fridge for at least 2 days. These pickles will last about 2 and a half months in your fridge – if they stay that long! Enjoy.