Jewish Pickles

pickling cucumbers laid out on a cutting board and in a basket on a wooden table

This recipe comes from the Fall 2019 installment of Jennifer Solow’s column, Kitchen Garden.

TIME FRAME: 1–4 weeks

SERVINGS: 1–2 Dozen

A clean ceramic crock or a big Ball jar
A plate or weight that fits inside the mouth of the crock or jar
Kitchen towel to cover


3–4 pounds small to medium-size pickling cucumbers
6 tablespoons sea salt
½ gallon water
6 tablespoons sea salt
3–4 heads fresh flowering dill
2–3 heads garlic, scrubbed clean and sliced in half
A few fresh grape leaves or 1 teabag
10 black peppercorns


Clean and gently rub the prickles and blossom end from the cucumbers. 

Stir the sea salt into the water until the salt is thoroughly dissolved. 

Place the dill, garlic, grape leaves or teabag, and peppercorns into the crock or jar. 

Fit the cucumbers into the crock or jar, adding them snugly but not forcibly. 

Pour the brine overtop. The brine should cover everything. You’ll need to fit something over the cucumbers and inside the crock or jar, like a small plate or fermentation weight, to keep the contents down below the surface of the brine. 

Cover the crock or jar with a kitchen towel. 

Take a peek at your pickles every day. You can skim the mold or forget about it. Start tasting the pickles after a few days. They may initially taste too salty but as they ferment the flavor will mellow out. 

In 1 to 4 weeks your pickles will taste pleasingly sour and not too salty. Move them to the fridge to slow down fermentation. These will stay delicious for a month or more.