Recipe: Sour Pickles (Fermented)

(Adapted from a recipe by Cathy Barrow. Printed in The New York Times, July 10, 2013)


2 pounds freshly picked firm, unwaxed, small to medium-size cucumbers

2 cloves garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

1 dill flower, or 5 sprigs fresh dill

½ teaspoon coriander seed

1/2 of a jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into slivers

2 tablespoons pickling salt, or Diamond Coarse Kosher Salt

1-2, 2 qt. jar or 4-5, 1 pint jars



Soak cucumbers for 30 minutes in a bowl filled with ice water. Rub them with your hands to remove any dirt. Slice the stem end off each cucumber, then cut each cucumber into equal size spears.

Pack cucumbers into one or two clean quart jars. Tuck garlic, dill, coriander and jalapeño slivers between cucumber spears.

Add salt to two cups boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Add two cups of ice (use filtered water to avoid chlorine). Stir well until the ice has melted and the brine is cool. Pour brine into jars, being certain that all of the cucumbers are immersed.

Place a double layer of cheesecloth on top of each jar and screw on the cap rims (not tops) over cheesecloth. Place jars into a small, sided pan or dish.

Leave pickles on the counter to ferment. The brine will bubble and appear cloudy. Taste pickles after three days. If you would like your pickles to be more sour, leave them on the counter another day or two. Otherwise, transfer them to the refrigerator. The pickles, stored in the refrigerator, will keep for 1 month.