Russian pickles with lemon, dill and horseradish

I always mean to share more simple cooking recipes from my mom, as they are always very wholesome and don’t require a lot of time and work. Yet finding time to document it hasn’t been easy as Eleon shifted to only 1 nap a day and Ale is now rarely have naps at all. Fortunately, I managed to put together this little post while the cucumbers are still in season. šŸ™‚ I think you will really enjoy this recipe. It tastes quite different from the pickles you normally find in the supermarkets in America as instead of vinegar we use salt, lemon juice and spices. I think in vinegar-based recipes the taste of vinegar is often over-powering. Here the flavor of spices and herbs compliments the cukes and neither overcomes the other. It is exceptionally quick and simple. And so so delicious!

Note: The recipe measurements are tailored for 700ml jar, since we have so many of those around the house. If you not sure how to scale this to your jar — please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help.

What you need

Cucumbers and spices for a single jar (700ml)

  1. Cucumbers — 5-6 pickling size cukes
  2. Garlic — 4 cloves
  3. Horse radish leaves (if available) — about 10cm long
  4. Dill — an umbrellas (ideally) or whatever you can get at the supermarket. If only leaves than get some dill seeds also from the spies section
  5. Leaves of black current (if available) — 2
  6. Black peppercorns — 6
  7. Spicy red peper (if you like spicy)
  8. Lemon juice — 5 ml or 1 teaspoon

Brine – makes 1 liter of brine enough for 2 jars

  1. Coarse salt – 30 gr or 2 table spoons
  2. Sugar – 15 gr or 1 table spoon
  3. Water – 1 liter or 4 cups (32 fl. oz.)

Step by step instructions

  1. Wash your cucumbers
  2. Sterilize your jar and lid ā€” fill the jar with boiling water and leave for 5 minutes. Boil the lids in a small pot for few minutes. Set clean jars on a tray (in case they crack when you pour hot water later) next to your stove an cover them with clean lids.
  3. Prepare the brine — in a pot combine brine ingredient and bring to boil. Leave simmering while doing the next few steps
  4. Fill another large pot with about 3 liters or 12 cups of water and bring to boil
  5. Place all your ingredients EXCEPT cucumbers in a strainer, then lower it into the boiling water and take out. Place it all into the jar and cover with lid. This step is just to sterilize your ingredients.
  6. Place your cucumbers in the same pot with water and let the water come to boil again, should only be 1-2 minutes, not more. This step is again for sterilizing the cukes, so you do want to make sure water came to boiling. Take the cukes out, places them in the jar where you already have your spices and herbs. Pour the lemon juice in.
  7. Fill the jar with boiling brine to the very very top
  8. Close lid tightly. Put the jar upside down to ensure it doesn’t leak. After you see it is sealed well, place it among some warm covers, like blanket and leave to cool down completely.
  9. Store in the fridge

So there it is. In the fridge they will store well into the winter. They are crisp, herby and delicious. The classic eastern European combination is to have them as a little side with our potatoes. There are also many recopies using the pickled cukes in salads and soups. And of course on their own as a snack.

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