Lacto-Fermented Pickles

From Marti Webster

2013 Mar/Apr


  • 4-5 organic pickling cucumbers
  • 1 T. mustard seeds
  • 2 T. fresh dill
  • 2 T. Himalaya or Celtic sea salt (purchase at a health food store, like Community Natural Foods, in the bulk section)
  • 1 c. filtered water
  • Optional seasonings: red pepper flakes, hot chiles, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, celery leaves, bay leaves, fresh herbs, onion, cinnamon stick, cloves.
  • Add a couple of oak, grape or horseradish leaves (they supply tannins to keep the pickles crunchy; purchase grape leaves at Kalamata grocery)


Wash the cucumbers well, soak them in ice-cold water for a couple of hours (to help keep them crisp), then place them in a quart-sized jar. Cut one cucumber in half and set it horizontally on top of the others – this will keep them from floating up above the water in the jar when they shrink a little during the pickling process. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the cucumbers, adding more water if necessary to cover, leaving a 1-inch air space below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks before transferring to cold storage or the fridge. You can adapt this recipe to other cut veggies like beets or carrots. (Another way to keep pickles crisp is to slice off the blossom end, which has an enzyme in it that can make them mushy. The blossom end is the larger, darker green end of the cuke.) Makes 1 quart.