I finally got a handful of pickling cucumbers (Alibi (What? You mean there’s more than one type of cucumber?? Yes, Fun Tammy, there’s more than one type of cucumber!)) from our garden, and the timing was just right to make some pickles for our trip to Wildwood with the Holians. And isn’t it perfect that I used a recipe from the book Charcuterie, which I first saw at the Holians’ house?

The pickles turned out great, and when we returned from vacation, there were another 5 cucumbers ready to pickle. I’m changing up the recipe a bit from the first time, and I’ll find out in about a week how this batch turns out.

(Some of my cucumbers aren’t beautiful… probably a result of incomplete pollination (?)).
Ready to pickle!

This is a natural pickle, meaning that no vinegar is added… the recipe relies entirely on bacteria which are naturally found on cucumbers. The 5% brine solution is strong enough to prevent other unwanted bacteria from taking hold. It’s also necessary to keep the cucumbers completely submerged in the brine, and the temperature needs to stay below 75 degrees F.

Cucumbers, flower end removed
3 liters water
150 g salt
handful of Chile de Arbol
handful of Sichuan pepper (thanks Orest!)
handful of garlic

Bring the water to a boil, then add the salt and flavor ingredients. Allow to cool to room temperature. Place cucumbers in the pickling container (I’m using a 1 gallon glass jar) and cover with brine. Place any remaining brine in a large ziploc bag. Place the brine bag on top of the cucumbers to keep them submerged. Keep at a cool room temperature for 7-10 days.

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2 Responses to Pickles

  1. Alex says:

    The pickles at the wood came out great…how did this variation work?

    • Dave Nirschl says:

      These came out good but I think I preferred the batch from Wildwood. I didn’t really notice any heat from the chile peppers and the sichuan peppercorns.

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