Vinegar and Spice and everything nice
I don't think I will ever escape pickles. My mama's favorite snack is the not-so-subtle dill pickle and a peppermint candy and oddly enough, I grew up living between two pickle factories. September always signaled sauerkraut season and the town would reek of fermenting cabbage. Not my fondest memories, but the smell of pickles and kraut still remind me of home.
My Aerogarden produces an overabundance of dill, which is probably my least favorite herb out of the pack I'm growing. Dill has a strange, sweet, yet empty aroma and only pairs up well with a few things for me: creamy, milky sauces/dips, fish, eggs, boiled potatoes, and pickles. This glut of dill is putting me in a pickle (ha!) so let's put it to good use. I'll spare you the nutritional lecture and procedure on lactofermented pickles (the best way to make a true kosher dill) and will instead provide you with the instant gratification of the quick pickle. These are meant to be made quickly and enjoyed just as fast, but if you want to store them, you can always process them in a hot water bath. I wouldn't worry- they won't last that long anyway.
Quick Dill Pickles
Makes about two pints of pickles
- 2 cups of sliced cucumbers (Persian, Pickling, English, whatever you've got on hand)
- zest of one lime
- bunch of dill (about 8-10 stems with leaves), torn or snipped in pieces
- 8-10 pepprcorns, cracked
- 1 tablespoon of course salt
- 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
- 2 cups of distilled white vinegar
- 2 cups of cold water
- 1 tablespoon of mustard seed (I only had ground mustard so I used that)
- 2 smashed garlic cloves
- 1-2 teaspoons of white sugar (optional for sweet and sour pickles)
- Large pot
- Two pint canning jars if you plan to store these, otherwise eat them right out of the bowl!
I like the brightness the lime zest brings to pickles - zest the lime and place cucumbers, lime, and dill in a large mixing bowl or canning jars. Pour all remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir well, and turn the heat down to simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour the brine over the cucumbers, lime zest, and dill, submerging all ingredients. Let them cool to the touch, then put in the fridge to chill (although I ate a few of them still warm...)