Sour Dill Cucumber Pickles

Source: Todd Champagne, Happy Girl Kitchen

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated at at CUESA’s Market to Table program on August 13, 2010. These are the classic New York-style pickles, which are naturally fermented in a salt water brine.

Makes 4 quarts


4 pounds of pickling cucumbers
1 bunch of dill
4 grape leaves (optional to help retain crunch)
4 teaspoons of pickling spices
12 cloves of garlic
Sea salt
Chile pepper (optional)


  1. Prepare the jars by adding in the dill, grape leaves, and pickling spices at the bottom. Next, pack in the cucumbers and garlic, making sure to occupy as much of the space in the jar as possible. Add a chile pepper for spice, if desired.

  2. Create a salt water solution of 5% salinity. 1 gallon of water = ¾ cup of sea salt (do not use iodized salt as it will retard bacterial fermentation). One half-gallon batch is enough for 4 quarts. Pour salt water over packed jar, making sure all contents are submerged. The lid should be loose to allow air exchange.
  3. Place pickles in 55-70 degree environment, out of direct sunlight. Let sit for 5-10 days, tasting occasionally, and refrigerate when desired sourness is achieved. (Skim off all mold that forms on the water’s surface; such mold is a natural part of the fermentation process.)


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