The main flavoring for dill pickles comes not from the feathery dill herb fronds we use in so much of our cooking, but rather from the dill seed. It’s not something that most grocery stores carry, but you can find it at Whole Foods, many smaller co-ops with bulk herb counters, and online at places like Penzeys.
→ Find It: Dill Seed at Penzeys
Aside from dill seed, a few smashed cloves of garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes help round out the flavor of the pickles. You don’t have to stop there, either! Play with mustard seed, celery seed, black peppercorn, or any other spice that tickles your fancy.
Kirby cucumbers are the classic pickling cucumber — they hold up better than English cucumbers during pickling, remaining firm and crunchy instead of becoming overly soft. I’ve also found that Persian cucumbers make very nice pickles — they have thinner skin and are the perfect size for packing into pint jars. Persian pickles are what I used in the tutorial today.
Cool and crunchy, delightfully sour and capable of going from snack to sandwich without a hitch — that’s what I call a good pickle. Did you know they’re a cinch to make at home? You don’t even need to set aside the afternoon; you can make a few pint jars in less than 30 minutes. Here’s everything you need to know to make your own batch of homemade dill pickles right now