Pickled Cucumbers and Carrots

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I received the Jerusalem cookbook as a Christmas gift, and have been immensely enjoying its colorful photos and delicious recipes. I know I'm late to the game, but this is quickly becoming my favorite book. After spotting fat, little cucumbers at the Armenian store, I decided to give one of the book's pickling recipes a try.

Generally, I am a vinegar pickle girl. In the past, the husband has experimented with salt (no vinegar) brine, and well, those quickly got the nickname "scumsicles". So, I wasn't sure how I'd like this salt only version. But, only after three days and zero scum in my jar, I realized this recipe was super quick and scum-free. I'm not sure what the husband did to his cucumbers, but I'm glad no one died as a result of his scumsicles.

Pickled Cucumbers (and Carrots) with Dill
adapted from Jerusalem

4 1/2 cups of water
4 1/2 tbsp sea salt (I used kosher)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
10 allspice berries (I used juniper)
1 tsp fennel seeds
10 black peppercorns
5 whole cloves
1 tsp celery seeds
1 small dried chile
1 large bunch dill
7 garlic cloves, unpeeled, lightly crushed
6 bay leaves
10-13 small cucumbers (I also used a couple of carrots because I had room)

1) Bring water and salt to a boil. Once salt is dissolved, remove from heat.
2) Place all the spices, chile, half the dill and garlic in the bottom of a sterilized jar (1.5L). Pack in your cucumbers vertically.
3) Fill jar with hot brine, making sure everything is completely covered. Place the rest of the dill on top and cover the jar loosely with the lid (this allows gas to escape).
4) Store in a cool, dark place for 3 days. Then taste a pickle. If you like the flavor, refrigerate your jar. If you want a sharper taste, leave jar out for up to 3 more days.

It says you can store the pickles in the fridge for 2 weeks, but once in the fridge, they will last longer. Although, it's hard not to snack on these all the time!

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