crunchy dill pickles

I’ve given up on the cucumbers. I got sick of picking a large bowlful every other day for weeks on end and last week I decided I was done with them. Now there are a whole bunch of swollen cucumbers loitering in the long row of tangly vines and I could care less.

I still have one whole crisper drawer stuffed full of cukes, but I’m even losing interest in those and now they’re turning floppy and a sickly yellow.

We ate a ton of the cucumbers fresh (okay, so not quite a ton), and I managed to put up 17 quarts of sweet pickles and several recipes of pickle relish. My family isn’t overly fond of dill pickles so I just made a small batch of refrigerator dills. Lo and behold, some of the kids actually fell head over heels for them!

I pulled the jar out of the fridge one night for a bedtime snack when my brother and his friend were visiting (to counteract the glasses of wine and the brandy-soaked piece of honey bread my brother created, GAG), and we plowed through them like we’d never eaten pickles before.

So I made another batch. I served them along with our grilled hamburgers (done properly this time!)  and hotdogs when my parents were visiting and my mother couldn’t stop eating them. In fact, after the meal she apologized for eating so many which caused me to roll my eyes at her. “You’re supposed to eat them, Mom!”

Before my picked cucumbers shrivel up beyond salvation, I should probably make another batch or two to carry us through the end of the summer. There are sure to be at least a few more cookouts and late-night cravings for the salty crunchies.

Crunchy Dill Pickles
Adapted from Sarah at Recipes for a Postmodern Planet

Despite my use of the adjective “salty,” these pickles aren’t overly salty. In fact, they aren’t overly anything—not too garlicky, dilly, vinegary, or spicy. Just wonderfully light and crisp.

You can use any kind of hot pepper. I usually use jalapenos, though I like to throw in a dried red pepper for pretty. For more kick, leave in the seeds.

24 ounces cucumber
3-6 hot peppers
3-4 large heads of fresh dill
5-6 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons coriander seed
1 1/4 cups white vinegar

Cut the cucumbers lengthwise into quarters. Peel the garlic and cut in half. Cut the peppers in half and remove seeds, if desired. Stuff all the vegetables, plus the dill, into a half gallon jar.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Pour over the vegetables. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables.

Store the soon-to-be pickles in the fridge. Every once in a while, give the jar a shake to blend the flavors. (Sometimes I flip the jar upside down for a few hours). After about 48 hours, the pickles are ready to eat.

PS. I first titled these pickles “Crunchy Refrigerator Dill Pickles,” but then I thought maybe that sounded like my refrigerator was crunchy. It is, I suppose, but that wasn’t what I was trying to say. I suppose I could’ve written it “Crunchy, Refrigerator Dill Pickles” but I found the comma distracting. So I omitted the word “refrigerator”even though it was a rather important adjective. There’s really no point to this paragraph, except maybe to apologize for the missing adjective. Which you didn’t even know was supposed to be there until I went and told you. So maybe I should just shut up now.

This same time, years previous: elf biscuits, nectarine red raspberry freezer jam, granola bars


  • Mama Pea

    I finally got around to trying this recipe and the pickles are FANTASTIC! I didn't plant any pickling cucs this year as I'm still trying to wade through dill pickles and bread and butter pickles I over-did it on two years ago. What I'm trying to say is I did grow slicing cucumbers this year so I picked some smallish ones to use and, wowzer, these are real winners. I'm planning on doing a blog post on them referring readers back here to your original blog post.

    Thanks for this recipe. It's gonna be a regular in our kitchen each summer from now on.

  • elizabeth

    What variety of cucumbers do you plant? I have a ton of persian cucumbers in the garden and usually eat one a day, but my stomach is on cucumber overload, so I've been leaving them at the post office for people to take, zucchini too. Next year I'll have to try a pickling variety, the persian type don't make crunchy pickles.

  • For My Boys

    Have you ever made candied pickles? Dad use to make them with the old yellow cucumbers and red hots. They tasted like spiced apples. It's one of the few items I remember him canning.

  • Becky

    I am so trying this because I hear ya, I'm sort of done with cucumber pickles myself and I'm only getting them from friends growing them.

    I've done a freezer pickle in the past too that I might try. Ever do one of those?

  • Anonymous

    This makes me want to make and eat dill pickles! I have recently heard of this method and I believe it is supposed to be very good for your digestion! Enjoy all the benefits!
    L in Elkton

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