Monday, November 11, 2013
There are lots and lots of various brines and an array of vegetables to get creative with if you want to try pickling but an easy starter project is basic cucumber garlic dills. Most grocery stores carry dill, though not pickling dill, but you can grow it from seed if you can't find a place to buy it. It grows easily without much attention and you can dry it for later use.
You will need:
About 3 or 4 medium to large cucumbers
6 tbsp distilled white wine vinegar
4 cloves of garlic
3 cups water
3 tbsp kosher salt
1 bunch of dill
This will give you 3 to 4 16oz jars of pickles
The cucumbers should be washed and may be left whole or cut into any shape you like. If the skin is unbroken you may have to let them sit an extra day or so to pickle.
To make the brine, mix vinegar, salt and water until the salt is dissolved.
Sterilize your jars with hot water and place a single pealed clove of garlic and sprig of dill in each before packing with cucumbers. You will want to put as many cucumbers in each jar as will fit without smashing them and be sure to leave an inch or so open at the top so you can completely cover them with brine.
Once the jars are full top them off with brine, put the lids on and wait a two to three days. They are safe to eat at any time but won't be fully pickled for at least 48 hours and it will take at least that long for the taste to develop. Your pickles should keep in the refrigerator for 3-6 months or more.
I have had success using this brine with several kinds of cucumbers, okra and shallots. It's a great way to save garden produce and farm market treasures.