I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I'm a pickle freak. Not just for pickled cucumbers. I love pickled anything. Beets. Carrots. Green beans. Summer squash. Bell peppers. Pears. Yes, you can pickle fruit. You name it, I'll pickle it, and eat it. Most of the pickles I make are in a Caribbean vinegar-based pickling liquid, which I've concocted from several recipes over time, and sell quite well at market. Did you pick up on that? The selling at market? It means I won't be printing that recipe here.
But one pickle that I've never made and absolutely love is an Israeli pickle. Israeli pickles are fermented in a salt brine over several days. And if you can get your hands on them in a Kosher or Middle Eastern market, you'll see that the cucumber that's used is a specific gherkin grown in the Middle East. I've not yet found the seeds to grow my own, but I'm on the hunt for them. So I thought I'd give it a go since I was able to find some just harvested, organic, farm-fresh, Kirby cucumbers at the Pinecrest Gardens Farmers Market last week at Bee Heaven Farm's booth.
Approximately 4 lbs pickling cucumbers, washed and dried
1 head of garlic, peeled and sliced thin
Fresh dill (I used my own out of the garden, but I estimate this to be equivalent to 1 package at the store)
1 Tablespoon crushed red chili pepper flakes, divided into 3
4 Tablespoons Kosher salt
Water, enough to fill the container you'll be using
Glass jar with lid
Find an appropriately sized glass jar with lid. I found one for $4 at my local grocery store by chance.
|Glass jar with lid|
Get your ingredients ready. Slice your garlic into thin slivers. Trim and quarter your cucumbers if you're using Kirby cucumbers like I did.
Note: You'll want to trim at least 1/16th inch off the blossom end of your cucumbers, according to several pickling/canning sources, to help maintain the crispness of your pickles. The blossom end contains enzymes that lead to softening.
|Farm-fresh, organic, Kirby cucumbers|
|Garlic, dill, Kosher salt, and crushed red pepper flakes|
|Filled jar before adding water|
Now add all 4 Tablespoons of Kosher salt to the water in the pot and bring it to a boil. Using a metal knife stuck down into the jar to help disperse the heat so your glass jar doesn't crack, slowly and carefully pour the boiling salt water mixture into the jar, leaving about half inch of head space.