DILL PICKLES- Naturally Fermented
6-8 small (3-4 inches long) cucumbers.
1 1/2 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons celtic sea salt
4-8 sprigs of fresh dill
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half and smashed with a knife
1 teaspoon peppercorns
Plus: 1 wide-mouth 500ml glass canning jar (sterilised in boiling water and air-dried)
Optional seasoning: red pepper flakes, hot chilli, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, celery leaves, bay leaves, fresh herbs, onion, cinnamon stick, cloves.
Combine salt and water and let sit until salt dissolves.
After washing cucumbers, cut the tips off on both ends. Leaving the cucumbers whole or cutting them in half or into spears is a matter of personal preference. Experiment to see what you like best.
In the jar put 4 sprigs of dill, garlic cloves and peppercorns.
Tightly pack the cucumbers in the jar. Add remaining dill.
Cut one cucumber in half and set it horizontally on top of the other cucumbers –this will keep the cucumbers from floating up above the water in the jar when they shrink a little during the pickling process.
Pour the salt water into the jar. It should completely cover the cucumbers.
Set the lid loosely on top of the jar, don’t seal it. Let the jar sit undisturbed at room temperature. You’ll know fermentation has begun when you see bubbles rising to the top of the jar and the water becomes cloudy. A thin layer of white scum might also form on the surface of the water. This is harmless and can be scooped away with a clean spoon. However, trust your nose. If the pickles smell bad while fermenting, throw them out.
It will probably take 3-10 days before the pickles are done. Taste the pickles during this time frame to see if the texture and flavour are to your liking. This is the only sure sign that your pickles are done. Once you’ve decided they’re done, tighten the lid and store the pickles in the refrigerator. Because there is no vinegar to preserve the pickles, they will only keep about a week. If the flavour of the pickles is not vinegary enough for you, try drizzling a little vinegar on the spears right before eating.
Grapevine leaves put into the jars will keep the cucumbers crunchy. Wash them with water first.