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I never had a better tasting pickle in my life! No, REALLY. I am chomping away on one as I write this, it’s crispy and the taste is wonderful!!! Thank you, thank you Mr Lebovitz for sharing this recipe! It was super easy to make and the result is the most perfect kovászos uborka tasting pickle without the kovász. These pickles are so perfect; I will never make any other summer pickles as long as I live. All you need is pickling cucumbers, fresh dill, pickling salt, water, small squares of cheesecloth and rubber bands to cover the jars. Imagine, gorgeous pickles that are ready in 3 days! Could this be any easier?

The source is Arthur Schwartz’s Homemade Kosher Dill Pickle Recipe by David Lebovitz. I made adjustments, scroll down to see the Lebovitz version.

4 cups water
1-1/2 Tbsp pickling salt
2 fresh dills with the dill head
additional fresh dill weed
4 cloves of garlic
4 bay leaves
Pickling cucumbers to pack into two jars
cheese cloth and 2 rubber bands

• In a large pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil with the salt, stirring until the salt is dissolved.
• Remove from heat and add the remaining water.
• Prepare 2 large jars by running them through the dishwasher or filling them with boiling water, then dumping it out.
• Wash the cucumbers and cut off the ends. Make sure they are not bitter. Discard the bitter ones.
• Place the dills in the bottom of the jars and add the garlic and the bay leaves.
• Pack the cucumbers vertically into the jars, making sure they’re tightly-packed.
• Fill the jars with brine so that the cucumbers are completely covered.
• Cover the jars with cheesecloth, secured with rubber bands.
• Store in a cool, dark place for 3 days.
• After 3 days, taste one. The pickles can ferment from 3 to 6 days.
• The longer the fermentation, the more sour they’ll become.
• Once the pickles are to your liking, refrigerate them.

The Lebovitz recipe:
4 quarts (scant 4l) water
6 Tbsp coarse white salt (kosher, if available)
pickling cucumbers to fill two jars
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled and lightly-crushed
2 Tbsp pickling spice
6 bay leaves
1 large bunch of dill, preferably going to seed, washed


  1. I am rather surprised not to find vinegar in the recipe, but I am curious to try it.

  2. Lacto-fermenting is another way of pickling. Instead of using vinegar, you just use a salt solution and wait for some special (naturally existing) bacteria to work their magic. The cucumbers retain more of their vitamins and there are other health benefits too. More importantly, they don’t have that overpowering vinegary tang and taste delicious.

    This is how my grandmother made our various pickles for the winter; she called them "vizes uborka". Vizes uborka gets sour from lacto fermentation. So this didn't surprised me at all. The part I found incredible was that it was ready in such a short time. My grandmother’s method takes about 6 weeks, because she closed up the bottles. They go cloudy and then eventually clear up and they are ready to eat. In these pickles I think the cheesecloth covering allowed the wild yeast from the air to get into the jars and worked a lot faster.

  3. Zsuzsa, I envy you the good quality cucumbers that you can ferment. I cannot ferment those I find on my market (there is only one man who sells them and I tried two years in a row): he puts too many fertilisers or he puts them too just before the harvest and the fermentation results in smelly awful cucumbers. Fermentation is easy but demanding in terms of produce... Luckily I can pickle them in vinegar, but I made so many jars last year, I still have enough for this year, so I have skipped this summer. My favourite are with dill flowers (+mustard and pepper corns) but I also pickle some "French style" with tarragon.
    Why are these called kosher?

  4. Sissi, kosher pickles are made with dill and garlic. My pickles are not kosher, though they could have been if I used kosher salt and the process was supervised by a Rabbi. But the flavour of the dill and garlic pickles is very popular, and is associated with the kosher food stalls in New York hence the kosher name. Plus the recipe came into my possession via two Jewish chefs. I didn't think of it, but it could have been presumptuous of me to call my pickles kosher. Maybe I should rename them kosher style pickles. What do you think?

    So sorry you cannot get better quality cucumbers Sissi. I used to order my supply of pickling cukes from a local grower before my husband had the time to tend our garden. I am surprised there is not a seasonal farmer’s market somewhere near where you live.

  5. My grandmother had a piece bread on the top and a pressed down with a couple of tounge depresser so the cucumbers would stay in the brine.

  6. Thanks Zsuzsa, in fact, I think this must have been the type of pickle my mom used to make.

  7. Zoli that is kovaszos uborka. I have the recipe on this blog. Click on Cookbook and click on preserve. It will be among those recipes.

  8. Yes Eva, that is what I thought when mentioned it earlier.




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