1 medium-to-large cucumber or 2 small cucumbers (ideally 12 ounces total)*
½ cup water, at room temperature or cooler
½ cup rice vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup or sugar
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
20 twists of freshly ground black pepper
2 leafy sprigs of fresh dill, roughly chopped (about ¼ cup)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 bay leaf
Slice cucumbers as desired.
Whisk together a basic brine made of water, vinegar and seasonings.
Pack the cucumbers into a jar, add some dill and garlic, and pour the brine over it all.
Refrigerate until the pickles taste sufficiently “pickled!”
CUCUMBER SLICING OPTIONS
You can use this recipe to yield any pickle shape, depending on how you slice your cucumbers. Thin slices will taste fully pickled sooner than thick spears (about one hour vs. three).
For cucumber rounds (or “chips” as they call them on the grocery shelves): Simply cut the cucumbers into thin slices (around 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick) .
For spears: Slice your cucumber in half lengthwise, then slice the halves into quarters. Finally, slice the quarters into eighths so they yield wedge-shaped spears. If you’re using a long cucumber, cut all the slices in half through the middle so they fit into your jar.
For sandwich slices: Slice off a strip of cucumber running the length of its long side. Turn the cucumber so it rests safely on the flat side. Then slice the cucumber, lengthwise, into 1/4-inch thick slices. Depending on the length of your cucumber, you might slice them in half or into thirds to suit your purposes.
Recipe Adapted from: Cookie and Kate