Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Ingredients for refrigerator pickles. From left to right: dill sprigs, dried chile peppers, a head of garlic, six Kirby cucumbers, and a small bowl of mustard seed. End photo ID.

Here's a great way to use some of the first salad cucumbers of the season. It's a fast dill pickle recipe that requires no canning and is sure to become one of your favorite recipes.

3 cups water

1 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup Kosher salt

1 bay leaf

2 small dried chile peppers, or 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1 large clove of garlic, crushed

1 tbsp mustard seed

3 or four sprigs of young dill

5 or 6 small Kirby cucumbers

Make a pickling brine by combining the water, vinegar, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer a few minutes until all the salt dissolves. Set aside to cool.

A jar lays on its side with spears of cucumbers inside. In the foreground, four cucumber spears are laying on a wooden cutting board. End photo ID.

Meanwhile, put the bay leaf, chile pepper or crushed red pepper, garlic, mustard seed, and dill in the bottom of a 1-quart canning jar. Cut the cucumbers in quarters and pack them, standing up, in the jar. It helps to lay the jar down on it's side when you do this.

Pack the jar with as many cucumbers as will fit tightly. You may have some left over.

Turn the jar upright when you are done, and pour in the brine until the cucumbers are completely covered. (You may have some brine left over, too.)

Cap the jar and put it in the refrigerator, where the cucumbers will gradually transform into delicous cold-packed dill pickles. It will take them at least three weeks to develop full flavor.

A jar against a wooden background. In it are dill spears, ready to be cured. The jar is sealed. End photo ID.

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