Nothing says love like a homemade dill pickle relish recipe. Okay, so maybe some things do — like chocolate, or an Australian Shiraz wine, or a foot massage. Oh, and then there are those adorable squeezy hugs that my boys are so keen on giving. I’m getting sidetracked.
I love pickle relish, particularly dill pickle relish. And when I became a label Nazi, I realized I needed to create a dill pickle relish recipe that could keep my family in fresh, old-fashioned, pro-biotic, lacto-fermented pickle relish until kingdom come. That’s because store bought pickle relish (even dill pickle relish!) not only contains nasties like high fructose corn syrup or sugar, but it’s also made with a vinegar brine and industrial canning. In other words, the dill pickle relish you buy at the store is dead — nothing at all like the sour, fizzy, old-fashioned pickle relish recipes our great-grandmothers were famous for.
So, I did what I always do when I want a recipe. I looked online. Nothing. I searched for lacto-fermented pickle relish recipes and found nada, zip, zilch, zero.
Then I did what I always do after I check online. I scoured my cookbooks. I found a recipe for Pickled Cucumbers in Nourishing Traditions (one of my Top 5 recommended cookbooks), and set about adapting it into a good pickle relish recipe.
This is the result.
Pickle Relish Recipe
- 4-5 pickling cucumbers
- 2 tbsp. fresh dill (or 2 tsp. dried dill)
- 1 tbsp. sea salt (where to find real sea salt)
- 4 tbsp. whey (drained from yogurt, if not available, use an extra 1 tbsp. salt)
1. Wash cucumbers well & grate them in a food processor or by hand. Stir in remaining ingredients.
2. Place mixture in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar. Using a kitchen mallet or wooden spoon, squeeze the grated cucumbers down and allow liquid to cover them. If there’s not enough liquid to cover, add filtered water to get the job done. The top of the liquid should be at least one inch below the top of the jar (that’s to make room for all that glorious fermentation).
3. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 2 days before transferring to cold storage.
4. Open and enjoy! This dill pickle relish recipe produces an old-fashioned, fresh, dill pickle relish that will last up to a couple of months in the refrigerator, although most of the pro-biotic benefit from the lactic acid fermenetation will be lost by then. (In other words, the sooner you eat it, the more healthful it is for you!)
P.S. If you’re intimidated by the idea of fermenting your own condiments at home, there are folks who are in the business of doing it for you. Why not check out the listings on my Resources Page to see what’s available in your area?
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