I love pickles. All forms. All vegetables. Pickled onions, turnips, cucumbers, peppers. Bring. Them. On. Until last week the only thing I pickled on a regular basis was red onions, which I love on salads and on top of tacos and other Mexican dishes. (I love this recipe for quick pickled onions) Then I found this super fast and easy recipe for spicy dill pickles and am currently on my second jar of them in less than two weeks. They are perfect.


They are refrigerator pickles— no heat involved. I know that this is the mildest summer I have ever experienced in Chicago, but it is still nice to not have to turn on the stove. Summer makes me lazy. Just combine the ingredients and let them do their magic overnight. You will be rewarded with a jar of seriously addictive pickles. You can vary the heat by how many and what kind of peppers you include. I used a couple of jalapenos and ours had a pleasant heat that increased as they aged. We’ve been eating these with everything and you should be too. Bring them to the next BBQ and your friends will be quite impressed.


Quick Spicy Dill Pickles (adapted from Food & Wine, August 2009)

  • 12 oz kirby cucumbers, quartered or halved depending on size
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 4 large garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 long red or green hot chiles, halved lengthwise (some or all seeds removed depending on taste)
  • 8 dill sprigs

Pack vegetables into a clean 1-quart glass jar. In another jar, combine the salt, sugar, vinegar, coriander and garlic. Shake until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add 1 cup of water and pour the brine over the vegetables. Tuck the chiles and dill between the vegetables. Add enough water to keep the vegetables submerged. Close the jars and refrigerate overnight or for up to 1 month.

***These are best the first week. They get less crunchy as they sit and I like them crunchy.


27 comments to “Pickles”

  1. Oh. My. GAWD. These are just….awesome. I am kind of speechless, because the photos are beautiful, and I am addicted to pickles. Must make these stat!

  2. Kirby cucumbers, fresh or pickled, along with dill they are irresistible indeed. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say they are a summer staple in Russia. Yours look just like my grandmother’s!

  3. i was just looking for a quick pickle recipe – this is awesome. thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh, WOW. I am SO jealous. Do you have one little extra jar that you could send this way?

  5. Will be making these immediately.

  6. ohhhh those look so good, my mom always made pickles and she also pickled banana peppers. will be trying your recipe! thanks

  7. Hot dog! I’m making these as soon as I find some cucumbers!

  8. Your photos are always so gorgeous.

    We just made pickles (and pickled beans) a few weeks ago, but the recipe (from Jamie Oliver) was not as fast as this one. I’ll have to try your version next time.

  9. I’m in! I’ve been pickling like a madwoman this summer…bread and butter pickles, sour pickles, pickled sour cherries, red onions…but my poor boyfriend is getting sick of that hot vinegar smell. Heatless pickles will be like manna from heaven to him!

  10. Oh, yes. So glad to see everyone up for some pickling. Let me know how you like them!

  11. Dawn in CA says:

    August 3rd, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Oh, yum. I’ve never seen Kirby cukes at our grocery store… will have to check the farmer’s market this weekend. What is the red at the bottom of the jar? (I have only ever seen green jalapenos.)

  12. Good catch, Dawn. I forgot about that pepper. The person who sold it to me said it was a Fresno pepper, which I had never heard of. When I looked it up I learned that Fresnos were similar to jalapeno- but a bit hotter. I think any pickling cucumber will work. They should be at the market. I just made another batch of these!

  13. Beautiful photos, Tim. Pickling is an addictive form of cooking. And this recipe looks fabulous. Enjoy!

  14. Your pics are gorgeous! Enticing! Inspiring! Etheral! Can’t wait to get to the farmer’s market Saturday!

  15. My dad used to make “quick pickles” for summer dinners & it was always my favorite. He’d slice cucumbers into thin rounds, douse them with salt, fresh dill, whole pepper corns & float them in a pool of vinegar. They had the best bite & tasted so fresh. They often came teamed up with a plate of sliced tomatoes. Throw the windows open, toss in a baguette & some cheese & you’ve got the perfect (cool) summer supper!

  16. you may want to also try claudia roden’s recipe in ‘the book of jewish food’ ( a really fantastic book); my husband makes it and tinkers with the spices here and there. dynamic, vinegary treats.

  17. I made a batch of these this weekend for my (very skeptical) girlfriend. They are awesome! Thanks for the recipe! I hope some are left by the time I get home today.

  18. looks fantastic. i would love to make it and taste the flavors develop over time.
    there’s a nice pickled papaya (unripened) here in the Pinas called ‘atchara.’ it’s often served as a side to barbeque, or anything. it’s got ginger in it too. yum.

  19. i just put mine in the fridge! sadly, i only remembered to make them the night before we leave the country for ten days. i fear they won’t be so crispy but from the looks of things i’ll be making many future batches. thanks for sharing!

  20. Vermontoise says:

    October 22nd, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Beautiful, beautiful pictures. Congrats. And I shall be making the pickles!

  21. I made a batch of these with rice vinegar and without dill recently & they were delicious. Now I’m trying them with apple cider vinegar & some cumin seeds… Thanks for the recipe!

  22. These pickles are absolutely delicious. Thank you for the recipe. I’m wondering if the brine solution can be used over for a certain period of time?

  23. Hi Chad- Do you mean reuse the brine? I wouldn’t do that. If anything, I use leftover brine for salad dressing.

  24. Do these pickles turn out sweet at all? I’m not a big fan of bread-and-butter style pickles, so I’m wary of adding sugar.

  25. Hi! Is this the recipe that you used to do pickled turnips? My friend – who is an amazing gardener – brought me so many beautiful turnips. I would love to turn some into pickles.


  26. Awesome recipe, these are great! If you add just a touch of Alum to them it will help keep them crispier longer.

  27. If you want to maintain the crispness of pickled things, throw in a wild grape leaf!

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