I don’t know about you, but there are certain foods that I constantly crave, rendering me incapable of enjoying or appreciating other snacks and dishes for days at a time. Right now, that obsession happens to be dill pickles. And no, I don’t think I’m channeling Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Junior” and announcing a pregnancy anytime soon, but when it comes to briny cucumber cravings, I need them and I need them now (which ultimately leads to me eating for two).
Sure, dill pickles have been around for ages (literally thousands of years B.C.), and I have fond memories of using them as sandwich toppers, post-workout snacks, and sour accents to potato and egg salads. But it seems like the salt- and grass-forward flavor has re-emerged as a culinary trend almost overnight. America can’t get enough, with products like chips, almonds, and popcorn coated with tang and the spicy herb notes in each bite. There’s even a dill pickle mustard that I use on everything, much like the elderly lady with hot sauce in those “Frank’s Red Hot commercials” (sans pearl necklace, but chock-full of the same expletive-driven enthusiasm).
Dill pickle is the new and unofficial pumpkin spice: A bold statement fit for a bold taste.
But with any infatuation comes a demand for convenience and instant gratification. And now, you can find that dill pickle bottled in powdered form and sprinkled on all of your favorite foods, we’ve ignored the foundation that started it all: simply pickling cucumbers in a jar. What’s more disappointing is the number of everyday people who don’t realize just how easy this process is to guarantee fresh, crunchy, and even customizable pickles at any time. So, here’s a dill pickle recipe that is as delicious as it is easy. It’s even customizable and can be used to pickle all of your favorite seasonal veggies.
What you’ll need
- Around 12 Persian cucumbers, sliced lengthwise into spears or horizontally into chips
- Around 8 sprigs fresh dill
- 2 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Divide the cucumbers, garlic and dill across 4 (8-ounce) or 2 (16-ounce) jars.
- In a medium stockpot, combine vinegar, sugar, salt, water, bay leaf, coriander, mustard seeds, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from the heat and pour over the cucumbers and dill.
- Let sit until the liquid cools to room temperature. Seal the tops and transfer them to the refrigerator.
- You can technically dig in the next day, but the best flavors will develop after 5 days. You can also store homemade pickles for several weeks!
- Pickles are completely customizable! Add more sugar for a sweeter pickle. Diversify your herbs and spices to change up the brine. I highly recommend adding the spice of red pepper flakes or sliced jalapeños for an extra kick.
- You are welcome to use whole cucumbers in larger jars, but they will take significantly longer to soak up the delicious liquid.
- Standard cucumbers have notoriously thick and waxy skin. Opt for thin-skinned varieties like English hothouse or Japanese if time is of the essence.
- The possibilities are endless! Use this brine as a base for any of your favorite vegetables: green beans, red onions, peppers, carrots, you name it.