My best friend Riley, a fervent pickle-lover would be proud. I finally made pickles from scratch! It hadn’t even occurred to me before… probably because I’m pretty pickle-ambivalent. I like a nice tart, crunchy, and fresh pickle, but most often the pickles I run across across are unimpressive. And floppy. Gross. But these little puppies are crunchy with just a little yield, salty and garlicky and satisfying. They were easy to make, too (c/o Mark Bittman, as per usual). No vinegar, no canning, no trouble at all, actually. Well, your kitchen is gonna smell like one big pickle for a few days, but I kinda like that.
Kosher Pickles (Adapted from How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman)
I changed the quantities a bit, but it’s essentially the same recipe. This makes a whoooole lotta pickles.
-4 lbs pickling cucumbers
-20 cloves garlic, smashed
-an entire bunch of fresh dill, preferably with flowers still on it
-3/4 cup kosher salt
-2 cups boiling water
Scrub the cucumbers well and slice them in halves or quarters (or keep them whole if they’re small enough for you). Add the salt and boiling water together in a bowl, mix to dissolve, then add a handful or two of ice to cool the mixture down. In two large bowls divide the dill, garlic cloves, and cucumbers. Pour half the saltwater in one bowl and the other half in the other. Add enough water to each bowl to cover the ingredients. With a plate that fits inside each bowl, cover the pickle mixture and weight it down. The goal is to completely submerge the cucumbers, but not to overflow the bowls. We used a pie tin in one and a medium size plate in the other, weighted down with a couple rocks and some containers of water.
After four or five hours we drained some of the saltwater out of the bowls and replaced it with tap water, which is necessary since our pickles were getting REALZ SALTY. Like, way too salty. But we let them sit overnight with their new fresh water (making sure to keep the dill and garlic in with the cucumbers) and revisited them the next afternoon.
Store the pickles with their brine (straining out the dill but keeping the garlic) in jars or tupperware. Easy. Crunchy. Salty. GOOD.