Pickling Without Canning: Garlic cilantro dill pickles

2012-09-03 at 17-06-12This post was originally published on September 4, 2012 and is in the spirit of Pickling Without Canning.

We ate a lot of pickles in my house growing up.

A lot of them.

We were a Claussen household. For some reason, my mother refused to buy pickles that weren’t refrigerated. Vlassic was never seen. I’d like to think that it was because my mother was nuts (true) and thought the non-refrigerated variety would spoil quicker, but it was probably because the Claussens are better. My sister and I would eat them by the jarful as kids (I think we’ve covered the excessive eating my household on this blog.).

My father is the one that got me eating non-grocery pickles. He used to pick up kosher sour, half-sour and garlic pickles from a Hebrew Kosher deli in Dewitt. It opened up horizons for my sister and I on this front. Marlo almost exclusively goes for half-sours from the tri-state’s plethora of Kosher delis. I go for homemade.

Typically I use the recipe offered in the Dinosaur Barbque’s cookbook. It’s good, but requires McCormick’s Pickling Spice. Two problems here:

  1. It’s horrendously expensive ($5/1.5 oz.)
  2. It lends a really fake flavor. I don’t know if it’s the allspice or cardamom or what, but it makes for a odd sweet taste that doesn’t fit.

During Saturday’s trip to the farmer’s market, I picked up a couple of pounds of cucumbers that were perfect sized for pickling. Since I’ve strayed away from the Dinosaur recipe, I’ve tinkered with my spice blend and I think I have a good thing here. (Side note: I don’t do the Mason jar thing. I’m all about plastic containers for this one.)

We’ll know more next week when they are done brining.

Garlic cilantro dill pickles
By Jared Paventi

  • Approx. 3 lbs. pickling cucumbers
  • 32 oz. white vinegar
  • 16 oz. water
  • 2 tbsp. pickling salt
  • One large bunch of dill
  • One-half bunch of cilantro
  • Five garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp. whole black peppercorns

Combine vinegar, water, mustard seed, peppercorns and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

In the meantime, trim the ends of each cucumber and slice into 1/4-inch rounds. Coarsely chop the dill and cilantro. Divide the herbs and garlic into two even portions. Distribute the first portion of herbs and garlic evenly among your containers. Divide your cucumbers into even portions and distribute amongst the containers.

When the brine boils, remove from the heat and pour enough into each container to cover the cucumbers. Top with the remaining herbs and cover. If necessary, wrap the containers in plastic wrap.

Refrigerate one week. Eat cold. Pickles should keep up to two weeks.

**UPDATED** We broke open the pickles tonight after eight days of brining in the basement refrigerator. The garlic and vinegar were dominant throughout. The cilantro and dill were basically in the way. I was hoping for a more herbal flavor, but I’m not disappointed at how these turned out. Apparently, neither did The Kid…


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