(Editor’s note: Measurements are rough estimates, so adjust to the size of your cucumbers and to your personal taste. Feel free to switch out the dill with coriander, turmeric, or other spices and herbs. This brine is also great with other crisp vegetables such as carrots or radishes. Pickles will take on more flavor as they sit in the brine, so make ahead and keep chilled in the fridge for all your summer barbecue.)
- 3 large pickling cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thin with mandoline or chef’s knife
- 2-3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons sugar (optional or to taste)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, lightly cracked
- 2 teaspoons dill weed
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, lightly cracked (optional)
- Place sliced cucumbers in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with salt to cover and toss cucumbers to coat. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Drain liquid from cucumbers into a glass measuring cup or bowl. Add vinegar, water, and sugar, if using, and stir to combine.
- Add smashed garlic cloves, peppercorns, and dill to bowl with cucumbers. Pour brine over pickles to cover. Add additional vinegar and water as needed if brine does not cover cucumbers.
- Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. Pickles will keep in refrigerator for at least two weeks. Great served on hamburgers or eaten on their own as a refreshing side salad.
Read more about Morse and his unique approach to the restaurant business here.