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Half Sour Pickles by Dr. Liz Lipski


Prep & Cook time

Ingredients & Amounts

  • 5-8 small pickling cucumbers (Kirby) or 4-6 small regular cucumbers
  • 1 quart filtered, spring, or distilled water (chlorine will have a negative effect on your pickles)
  • 2 TBSP sea salt
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp dill seed
  • ¼ cup fresh dill or 1 TBSP dried dill leaf
  • 2-4 fresh horseradish leaves, or grape leaves, or 1 oak leaf. In the winter you can use a pinch of black tea leaves or a couple of dried bay leaves instead. (The tannins in all of these leaves keep the pickles crisp and crunchy.)

Optional spices: coriander, cumin, red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, cinnamon, caraway 


  1. Soak the cucumbers in ice water for an hour. This will enliven them.
  2. Place leaves, garlic and spices in the bottom of a quart jar.
  3. Pack the cucumbers into the jar, packing them in tightly.
  4. Dissolve the salt in the water. Pour it over the cucumbers. Make sure that the cucumbers are completely submerged in the water. If not, make a bit of extra brine to cover them.
  5. Leave 1” of space between the top of the water and the top of the jar
  6. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel or cheesecloth in a cool place. Leave on your counter for 3-7 days. Then begin to check them daily. The brine will begin to get cloudy and slightly bubbly. When the pickles taste “right” to you, cover and refrigerate.  

Food Category


Dietary Restrictions (check all that apply)

Dairy Free
Egg Free
Gluten Free
Peanut Free
Tree Nut Free



Calories from Fat

Total Fat (g)

Saturated Fat

Trans Fat

Unsaturated Fat

Total Carbohydrate

Dietary Fiber