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Here’s a riff on the classic garlic dill pickle recipe. It uses hops ginger and citrus peels. It’s bright and just a bit hoppy.
I’ve used kirby pickling cukes, and also the “salt-and-pepper” variety of cukes with their unmistakable yellow skin. You could make them with any pickling or slicing variety.
Think all pickles are fermented? Think again– and learn the differences!
- 2-3 lbs./1-1½ kg. cucumbers (slicing or pickling varieties)
- peel from 1 lemon
- ½ oz. (15g) fresh ginger root, sliced thinly
- ¼ oz (7g) dried hops or hops nuggets, any variety
- 1 Tbsp./ 15ml peppercorns, mixed
- 1 quart/liter filtered water
- 2-3 Tablespoons/ 30-45ml fine sea salt (4.5 to 6.8% brine by weight)
- 2 tablespoons /30ml pickle brine (Optional)
- 2 grape leaves or other fruit tree leaf
- If using cukes from your garden or a really fresh farmer's market, scrape the tip off the flower end to ensure there are no flowering parts (enzymes & molds can make pickles mushy). Rinse off any dirt from cucumbers. If using slicing cukes, slice into ¾″ thick pieces. Leave whole if using pickling (Kirby) variety.
- To a clean half-gallon or larger glass jar or ceramic crock, add grape leaf, citrus peels, peppercorns, sliced ginger and hops. You may wish to add hops to a canvas tea bag first to make them easy to retrieve later.
- Add cucumbers to the jar, packing as many in as you can.
- Mix Brine: Stir sea salt into filtered water until salt dissolves.
- Add pickle brine from a previous batch to container.
- Place a lid or plate that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the container on top of cukes. Add a weight like a jar or wine bottle filled with water. OR, If using a small batch fermentation kit, add the weight(s) to the jar.
- Slowly pour brine into jar until there’s enough to cover the contents. Leave about one inch from the top of the container (if using mason jars).
- Cover container with a tea towel or clean dishcloth to keep dust and flies out, and secure with twist ties or a rubber band. OR if using small batch fermentation kit, apply the fermentation lid per the instructions.
- Place in a cool, dark spot in your house. Taste after 5 days. If still too crunchy (like a raw cuke), let ferment a few more days.
- White yeasts and mold may form on the surface that is exposed to air. THIS IS NORMAL. Remove weight and plastic lid, wipe or spoon out as much of the mold as you can, clean lid and weight with warm soapy water, dry thoroughly and add back to the jar.
- When you like the taste and texture, remove the weight, hops bag (if using), transfer to refrigerator and place a tight lid on container. Pickles will last up to 6 months in the fridge.