Yid.Dish: Eli and Blair’s Dill Pickles

By Mia-Rut

Published December 25, 2008.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Legend would have it, two years ago the ADAMAH, Jewish Environmental Fellowship at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, had an overabundance of cucumbers. One of the Fellows, Zelig Golden (also the co-chair of this conference) was unhappy with simply composting the unused vegetables and began making pickles from the extra veggies. Pickling is really about preserving – extending the harvest and gaining additional nutritional value of eating fermented food (lactobacillus is good for you). Today ADAMAH Fellows sell their preserved products such as kimchi, sauerkraut and of course their pickles in local grocery stores and at the local CSA. (More about ADAMAH here)

JCarrot

This afternoon conference participants gathered with two ADAMAH alumni, Eli Marguiles and Blair Nosan to share stories about their love of pickles – everything from finding that perfect pickle that makes the sandwich to how pickles have empowered Palestinian women in Israel. But more importantly people wanted to learn how to make pickles!

Here is a little bit of video of Blair and Eli from their demonstration (sorry, the volume is a little low). Their recipe for dill pickles is after the jump and check out some more of ADAMAH’s amazing lacto-fermented products!

Everything You Need to Know to be a Pickling Pro

The vital period of fermentation takes place over the first three days of fermentation. That is when the microorganism are creating the first burst of lactic acid – thereby setting up the environment for the future and establishing an environment that is not at risk of spoilage.

Temperature – not too hot and not too cold. When you are fermenting, the temperature around your jar needs to be within a range of the bacteria’s preference, which is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Too cold and the spoilage microorganism might suddenly be favored, too much above 80 degrees and you will get off flavors and keeping value suffers.

As a general rule, veggies with a higher sugar content, higher moisture or less fiber take less time to ferment. Lower sugar lower moisture and higher fiber take more time to ferment.

Eli and Blair’s Dill Pickles

What you will need

1 Quart jar (with lid)

2 T sea salt (small grain)

hot and cold water

1 T spice mix

3-4 whole cloves garlic

4 sprigs or dill or 1 dill flower

As many pickling cucumbers as fit comfortably in the jar (use a smaller variety of cuke, the fresher the better! Going to the store and buying shelf produce probably won’t give you the best pickle, because of freshness)

How to turn cucumbers into pickles

Measure salt and pour into bottom of jar. Add hot water, as little as possible, and stir until salt dissolves. Fill 55% of the jar with cold water. Add spices, garlic and dill to the salt water. Add your cucumbers (pack them in strategically, medium sized on the bottom, smaller ones on top). Add “toppers” so that the pickles are completely submerged. Cover jar with lid or cloth – but do not seal.

Allow cucumbers to ferment in a warm (above 50 degrees) environment. After 24 hours you have a half-sour pickle! Depending on how sour you want it, you can continue to ferment and keep checking daily. We ferment our full sour dills for one week. Once you are happy with the flavor, stick the jar with the lid tightened now, in the fridge. Refrigeration will stop the fermentation process, if you take them out of the fridge they’ll begin to ferment again.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t tighten the lid while fermenting as the pressure will build up and your container can explode!


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.