The wait was long and arduous, but everyone’s favorite holiday is back once again. And while parades and piñatas are all well and good, this year we thought we’d do something a little different! So without further ado, check out our recipe for the perfect pickle! Note: We’re going with refrigerator pickles here which produces a crisper pickle.
Gather Your Ingredients
Start with the cucumbers. Kirby and Persian varieties hold up the best and return the ideal texture when pickled. You’ll need 1 to 1.5 pounds. You’ll also need: 4 cloves of smashed garlic, 2 teaspoons dill seeds, 2 sprigs of dill (we use both seeds and sprigs for extra dilliness!), 1.5 teaspoons red pepper flakes or 1 small red chili, 1 cup cider vinegar or white vinegar, 1 cup water, and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. You’ll also need two 16-ounce jars.
Wash your jars. Wash and dry your cucumbers and peppers, if you’re using them, and trim the ends of each. Cut your cucumbers into spears, pickle chips, or simply leave them whole. Peel and smash your garlic.
Spice it Up
Measure and add your dill seed and pepper flakes to the jars. If you’re using a red chili instead, add that now along with your dill sprigs. You can also add in other tasty alternatives at this point, such as coriander seeds, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, and a bay leaf. Don’t be afraid to go crazy. Once everything else is in your jar, add the cucumbers, packing them in as tightly as possible without smashing them. If any stand more than .5 inches below the top of the jar, trim them off.
In a non-reactive (due to the acids) pot, bring your vinegar and water to a boil and add the salt, stirring till it has completely dissolved. Pour your brine over your soon-to-be pickles, filling the jars to about a half-inch from the top, making sure to cover all the cucumbers. Then tap on the sides of the jars lightly with a wood or plastic spoon or spatula to knock loose any air bubbles. Tighten on the lids and allow the jars to cool at room temperature.
The Waiting Begins
Once the jars have cooled enough to handle, place them in the refrigerator and allow the brine and seasonings to work their magic for at least 48 hours. For best flavor, try to hold off opening them for five days. Enjoy!
For more amazing holiday recipes, visit the Olympus Willow Park blog.