(Recipe adapted from Sandor Katz, Wild Fermentation)
1 ½ lbs organic, unwaxed cucumbers of your choice.
(I prefer either Japanese or small Armenian or other varietals as
they have the most crunch)
1 medium sized sweet onion
2 heads of flowering dill, or ½ bunch of regular dill
1 head of garlic- or at least 10 cloves
Around 10 black peppercorns
1 TBSP coriander whole
3 or 4 red chilli peppers or 2 TBSP red chilli pepper flakes
3 to 4 cups of water
3 TBSP Sea Salt
Slice cucumbers and onion and soak in the brine. Add all spices. Use a plate or something else to hold the veggies under the brine and keep them submerged for 1 week or more.
The thinner you slice the veggies the more the flavors will penetrate. You can leave the skins of the cucumber on if organic too. There are lots of trace minerals and nutrients in the skins.
You can experiment with amounts to your taste of the spices. I would say that there probably is no spice you cannot add, and it is totally up to you. I created this recipe for pickles over 13 years ago, except I used to can them the traditional way.
Taste veggies for saltiness. You will want them to taste salty but not unpleasantly so. However, when it comes to pickles, I think more is better. You may want to experiment for yourself.
Ferment in your kitchen or other warm place. Taste it daily and be sure the vegetable mixture does not rise above the brine. After about a week or two,when it tastes ripe, move it to the refrigerator. There is no real rule here except your tastes. If you want it less fermented, you can refrigerate it sooner rather than later. Also, temperature and humidity play a role, so experiment.
About fermented foods:
Fermented foods preserve and add nutrients to food. Fermenting also breaks food down so that it is more digestible.
Fermented foods have good bacteria that our digestive tracts need to help us digest our food, prevent illness and produce some essential vitamins like B vitamins and vitamin K, both of which are otherwise very hard to get in our modern diets.