Sunday, 13 June 2010

One proud pickle

So after a long week of salivating each time I walked past my pickling jar, stopping myself from doing what I did with most of the savings bonds I've ever been given (cashing it in early), I let my four green pickles sit in their brine day after day until I believed they had reached their highest possible worth of deliciousness. 

While they were pickling they made for good company for our fish Spike for the week, sitting along side him in their nearly matching glass jar.  Despite Spikes gripes that they looked at him a bit funny from time to time, I think he was sorry to see them go today.  Nick and I however were not, and we celebrated the occasion by making burgers (done the Heston Blumental way where all of the grains of your meat line up the same way vertically so the burger breaks nicely when you bite into it... not to be confused with the Heston way where you take 3 days to make a stock out of truffles which you have picked yourself, which you then marinate with boars eyeballs over dry ice for another 3 days before you douse it in propane and light it on fire and mold it into the perfect shape to accompany your starter). 

Needless to say this recipe resulted in the salty, garlicy, crunchy dill pickle that has always had a place in my heart.  My only regret is that I only bought four cucumbers...   

As promised, here is your recipe.  Please make these.  For my sake.

Dill Pickles from Michael Symon and Michael Ruhlman


3 tbsp kosher salt
1 bunch fresh dill
10-15 garlic cloves (I went more towards 10 and still found it to be very garlicy)
1 pound pickling cucumbers (ideally young and small)


Combine 3 3/4 cups water with the salt, dill and garlic in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt is dissolved.  Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Arrange the cucumbers in a nonreactive container and pour the brine over them.  *I ended up having to make double the brine as the liquid needs to fully cover your cucumbers.  You can also weigh the cucumbers down with something if they continue to float back up to the surface* 

Place in a cool place (like by your fish tank) and allow to ferment at room temperature for one week.  Taste the cucumbers.  If you want them to be more sour leave them out for 2 more days.

To store them, strain the fermenting liquid into a nonreactive pan and bring to a boil.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  Pour the cooled brine back over the cucumbers, cover and refrigerate for up to one month.


  1. ok, for the novice chefs among us can you clarify what you mean by a "nonreactive" pan or jar?

  2. Nonreactive pans or jars are made out of materials like clay, enamel, glass, plastic, or stainless steel. When you cook or store food using pots/pans/jars with a reactive materials like copper or aluminum (which conduct heat really well) you end up with a slightly metallic taste to your food and you also run the risk of discoloring. Most cookware unless it's super super cheap is made from nonreactive materials, or at least have a nonreactive coating.